A great little hike on smooth trails without a big elevation commitment. All the while, you'll be surrounded by a changing landscape and beautiful forests. Plenty of small benches and viewpoints make it easy contemplate the scene or keep going for a quick loop. The loop could easily be done in reverse to switch things up.
This easy, short hike leaves from a small parking area above Old Highway 99. Look for the Squires Lake Trail
on the north end to begin following the smooth well-benched singletrack up along a wooded side-hill. The grade quickly plateaus and the briefly widens below a sandstone cliff screened by tall deciduous trees. A final series of switchbacks leads to the Squires Lake Loop Trail
at an intersection near a small and mostly hidden waterfall.
Head left to follow the easy doubletrack around the lake. There are various viewpoints and benches encircling the water so you can do a bit of relaxing and exploring at leisure. Halfway around the east side of the water, the trail narrows back to singletrack while the doubletrack continues along a spur to end at private property to the north.
Keep left along the water to soon arrive at a pair of bridges and a sign detailing the history of the land. Around the corner, the trail is intersected by tight roots that provide minimal bother as long as you watch your step. The now-shaded trail rises on a small ridge with the lake on one side and marsh land on the other.
At the intersection with the Beaver Pond Loop Trail
, head left up a gentle grade. This trail is one part wide gravel track and one part delightful narrow singletrack. Both aspects pass by pleasant forest scenes ranging from wetlands to root-covered sandstone. You won't see much of the trails namesake pond until you head down the Beaver Pond Viewpoint Spur
. Retrace your steps back to the Beaver Pond Loop Trail
to follow down and across a lush gully. The setting here is very beautiful and tranquil, so it's worth lingering.
The path soon reconnects to the Squires Lake Loop Trail
where a turn to the left follows the gravel track up the hill. On the left you'll pass the southern end of the South Ridge Trail
which can be followed if you're looking for a little more challenge and some more mileage. As mapped, continue along the doubletrack to where it circles around to the top of the Squires Lake Trail
. Once you're ready it's a short hike back down the parking area.