Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers
Short hike that is close to home and can get everyone into nature. It may be too much for some grandparents.
Need to Know
Parking at the extreme southwestern end near Mississippi Avenue can only fit 1-2 cars. Blazes are white. Access trails blazed with other colors.There is an EXTREMELY steep section just west of where the North Walker Access intersects, but the spring wildflowers are before that.
This trail follows the northern side of Black Oak Ridge. You can hike a 1-2 mile segment, or you can hike all 7.7 miles. Near the southwestern end of the trail at the Mississippi Avenue access, the powerline swath creates a nice view of the mountains. Also, another swath near Illinois Avenue presents good views year-round. At the North Walker access near the Oak Ridge Children's museum, around 6 miles from the northeastern terminus, there is a creek with beautiful spring wildflowers.
Terrain is hilly with many short climbs and descents. None are hard to manage. It is a good trail to check if you are in shape and practice your pacing for a backpacking trip. Camping is not allowed, however.
Most access points are a short ways from East Drive, Outer Drive, and West Outer Drive. Listed west to east, they include accesses at Endicott Lane, Englewood Lane, Delaware Avenue, Georgia Avenue, Orchard Lane, Key Springs Road, Wedgewood Road, North Walker Lane, Old Batley Road, Illinois Avenue, and Mississippi Avenue.
Flora & Fauna
Spring wildflowers appear throughout. Six miles from the northeastern end, there is a creek with a very high abundance in early April. That area can be more easily reached using the North Walker Access, near the Children's museum. On this hike, we saw a box turtle hanging out in the trail.
Shared By: Marty McFly