Highlights include a rockhouse and Needle Arch, both of which are located just .2 off trail. Slave Falls is also located about .2 miles off trail, and is a very pretty detour. This route is especially scenic when the Mountain Laurel is in full bloom, and hikers will enjoy the sprays of pink and white.
Features: Fall Colors — Waterfall — Wildflowers
Family Friendly: No cliffs or dangerous areas in conjunction with a mostly easy to navigate trail makes this good for all.
The hardest part was to finding the trail parking lot. When road comes to a Y stay right to avoid the equestrian parking lot. From there, a small trail-like road leads past the trail then to Sawmill trailhead where you park. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.
The nice raised trail leads through woods and crosses the road. This trail is well marked with signs, which seems to be a recent improvement. There are bridges and it seems to be well traveled. I liked it that I didn't have to be hiking in poison ivy - even in a place where poison ivy thrives, there wasn't any to be had on this trail. The hills were not bad, and there were no city noises. We met no one so that was good, too! I did miss a good place to sit and eat lunch, which may be lacking here, but the loop is worthy nonetheless.
There are two highlights along the way; Slave Falls and Needle Arch. Though they can't be reached from this trail, continuing down the Slave Falls - Charit Creek Trail
will bring you right past the arch, and to the Slave Falls Spur
from which you can detour through a short loop to admire the falls. Simply turn around to return to this trail and the rest of your hike.
Mountain Laurel and deer are both plentiful here.
Local legend says that escaping slaves were hiding in this area during the days of the underground railroad.