“An approximately five-mile loop that gives hikers a good sample of what the park has to offer.”
— Erik Olsen
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers
Gates close at dark.
Start at the pavilion then go around the south ball field, and every time you come to an intersection go LEFT. Eventually, the trail will bring you back after 5 miles to the start at the pavilion. The trails have been altered since the concept originated, so now there are a few right turns; you can use the Hiking Project mobile app
to stay on track.
Need to Know
Bathrooms are located in the parking area as are drinking fountains. Free parking. The park is host to several races per year, and is a busy place on the weekends.
The wooden bridges can be slick after a rain. All of the trails are well-marked with blazes on the trees and signs at intersections, and the main maps at the trailhead kiosks now have all the trails labeled.
Start (and finish) at the crosswalk in front of the pavilion. From the start, hike down the hill and stay on the pavement. Follow the road toward the park entrance. Just before the park entrance, turn right on to the sidewalk going behind the baseball fields. Take a left turn into the singletrack trail.
Follow Raccoon Run Trail
, then left onto Dragonfly Way
around and down the hill to the lake view. Then follow Raccoon Run Trail
along the bank of the river and along the boardwalk. You'll come to the paved trail intersection with Sparkleberry Connector
(SBC); turn left and cross the the big steel bridge. Take the left turn off the bridge onto Possum Run
and the take the left down onto Froggy Bottom Link
. Look for mucky swampy bottoms and the fun jump up on the walk bridges.
Froggy Bottom will twist around and you'll arrive at "T" intersection with the River Otter Way
boardwalk section, and turn right. This will lead back up and become Possum Run
before you see the paved SBC - turn left on the pavement and then look for your first left onto Woodie Walk - another scenic boardwalk. At the end of this section, turn left onto Flat Tail Trail
(FTT). Follow FTT past the bird's nest overlook and onto another boardwalk.
At the end of boardwalk, turn RIGHT on the paved Swamp Rabbit Trail
(SRT). At the 3-way intersection, turn left onto Stone House Spur AKA park HQ, staying on the pavement. At the top of the hill, look for the right turn onto White Tail Trail
, and hike up the hill around LARGE old oak trees and picnic tables. This brings you back to SRT and another left turn on to pavement.
Turn right onto the paved Sparkleberry Connector
(SBC). Hike up the hill and look left for the steep downhill and the LEFT fork onto Box Turtle Trail
. Take the right fork across short bridge to a nice little climb and a good downhill that will bring you back to SBC pavement where you'll want to turn left.
Stay on the pavement and it will take you back across the steel bridge and to the final left into the challenging last section of Raccoon Run Trail
. There are some technical sections along the river and some hard rocky ups and downs. Upon exiting the Raccoon Run Trail
continue up the grassy hill then turn to hike down it straight to the finish line at the pavilion crosswalk.
History & Background
This lake was formed when a textile mill dammed the Reedy River; there are historical placards at all the parking areas.