Visitors seeking to spend some quality time outside without having to travel far will love this route. While many of the Watershed trails are linear, offering an out-and-back experience, this route allows hikers to complete a loop without having to retrace their steps. At just over 6 miles, this route captures a variety of the ecosystems that make Lake Brandt special.
This loop route is the perfect way to escape from the urban surroundings of Greensboro, and to explore new trail throughout the journey.
Start by parking either at the Lake Brandt Marina or at the smaller parking area located just north of the boat launch. You'll begin on the Laurel Bluff Trail
, which will start out with a short jaunt through fairly typical North Carolina forest. Continuing on, the trail leads along a bluff overlooking the river, which makes for scenic travel. The Reedy Fork will empty into Lake Brandt, but the water moves along tranquilly far below. Though much of the route is mellow, there will be one steep drop, where more technical terrain will need to be negotiated. In no time, however, you're back to alternating between hardwood forest and open meadows. An old barn and a bamboo forest await near the end of this trail and add a few points of interest along the way.
Once you reach North Church Street, turn north and follow the road for a short ways. Avoid crossing the road, as your turn onto the Reedy Fork Trail
will be coming up on the left soon. Once you reach the Reedy Fork Trail
, you'll begin you journey homeward. Initially, the trail is a bit rocky and you'll be following along Plainfield Road. While not the most scenic, this portion is short, and soon enough you'll find yourself moving away from the road. From there, the trail begins a more winding path, which makes the route pleasant. You'll be lower than you were on the Laurel Bluff Trail
, and will have the opportunity to admire the waters of the Reedy Fork up close.
Enjoy the rolling trail until you reach the trail's end on Lake Brandt Road, and then turn south and make your way along the road shoulder to return to your vehicle and the trailhead that you left from.