This hike features a variety of terrain and settings including a large meadow with wildflowers in season, a pristine forest, a nice pond, and a valley with a creek and small waterfall.
It is also a transition from the normal sounds of the area that slowly diminish until about halfway through this hike when the only sounds come from your natural surroundings, especially from the pond on the Red Trail
at the top of the ridge and all the way down the Blue Trail
along the creek. Maps are posted prominently at each intersection.
The first section of the hike along Green Trail is uphill; the middle section along the Red Trail
is mostly level; the final leg along the Blue Trail
There are two parking areas to the main activity area and Blue, Emerald and Orange Loop trail heads. One is at the Devola Multi-Use Trail on State Route 821. Cross a bridge and mowed field to the Emerald Trail
. The other parking area is at the main entrance, just past the Devola Trail entrance, also on State Route 821. From this parking area, follow the path past the shelter and maintenance building along the base of the hill to the Emerald (formerly the Green) Trail or walk past the buildings toward the ravine/creek to reach the lower entrance to the Blue Trail
Two other parking areas provide ridge access to the Red Trail
. One is accessible from Millcreek Road off of State Route 60 beside Marietta Bible Center and across the highway from James-Fischer Park. The other is at the top of the hill behind GWB Complex 3 off of State Route 821 just West of I-77 Exit 6.
From the parking areas, go across the meadow or along the base of the hill to the Green Trail. Hike about 200 feet up a rather steep gravel road through the woods to a level section of the meadow to a shelter and fire ring. Bear left through the meadow along the edge of the woods up the hill to a bench. Bear left through the woods on the packed surface of the Green Trail to the ridge where you'll bear right on the Red Trail
Follow this fairly level section of the trail along the ridge past the Cyan Trail
(connector) until a steep grassy descent takes you to the pond. Hike around the pond a short ways through the woods. Bear right into the valley along the Blue Trail
, which goes along, over, and through a creek.
The top third of the descent is somewhat steep but levels out soon. Notice several boulders and rock outcroppings on both sides of the trail. The only sounds you'll hear from the pond to the lower end of the Blue Trail
are the sounds of the woods. You'll see several connector trails (Cyan, White, Orange Trails) and a loop (Purple Trail
) along the way.
The Blue Trail
can be wet or muddy in places. There are sections that cross or go through the creek, which can be slippery but not difficult to navigate. At the end of the trail, pass a dry dam through a gate past commercial buildings before bearing right to the parking areas and park shelter, which may or may not be available as it is often rented by families and groups.
Maps are posted prominently at each intersection in case you need them, or you can bring the Hiking Project mobile app
to keep you on course.
Two small Hopewell/Adena-era mounds are located along this loop.