Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers
For hikers looking for a more secluded outing on the trails at Hays Preserve, this lollipop loop combines several trails for a peaceful hike. As a bonus, you'll start and finish near the great restaurants in Hampton Cove, a great stop for a post-hike bite to eat.
Need to Know
There are two wooden bridge crossings and be sure to watch for horseback riders. After you cross the golf course maintenance path and enter the wooded area, you'll notice trail signs to help navigate the trails but with the number of trails/loops in this area it is easy to get turned around. There are now maps at the Hays Nature Preserve parking lot information sign or you can use the Hiking Project mobile app
to help find your way.
This hike starts from the parking area and trailhead off of Wade Rd. From the parking area, pick up the paved Big Cove Creek Greenway
heading southeast. The trail quickly leaves the busy roads behind and heads into a wooded section along Big Cove Creek.
At about 1 mile into the Big Cove Creek Greenway
, turn left at the stop sign, cross the creek and hike right along the edge of the golf course to the entrance of Duck Weed Basin
sign. Follow the trail along White Tail Haven
; you'll cross two bridges and the golf course maintenance path on this trail.
At the fork, go left on the Skip Rock Wilderness
Trail to the 100-Acre Woods
around the lake to Bobcat Thicket
and Deer Run
back to the Skip Rock Wilderness
fork. These trails are multi-use equestrian paths so be prepared to yield to other trail users. The terrain is a bit more adventurous, with some rocks and roots to navigate, compared with the paved greenway you started on, but there is nothing too challenging, and the doubletrack paths are flat most of the way.
Once you finish out the loop, head back to the parking area the same way you came along White Tail Haven
, Duck Weed Basin
, and the Big Cove Creek Greenway
Shared By: Kristen Arendt