Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Need to Know
There is no potable water or restroom facilities. Pack your own water or be prepared to filter from streams/lakes. Wear blaze orange during turkey and deer hunting seasons. Some old trail maps may show decommissioned sections of trail. In particular, near the lake, the "new" trail climbs up and away from the lake, NOT alongside the east bank. Hikers yield to horses and should be aware that mountain bikers may also be present. Gasoline and some basic supplies are available in the town of Birdseye.
This trail has been significantly improved over the last 5+ years. There is logging taking place in the area, so check the US Forest Service website for updates on possible trail closures. While some areas were heavily logged recently, there are still many natural features to marvel at.
If you can hike this trail in the springtime when the redbuds are in bloom you won't be disappointed. The ticks won't be as heavy, the trail isn't as overgrown, and there are abundant wildflowers along the trail. You may even spy a morel mushroom.
A few rock outcrops, some with small waterfalls, appear off the side of the trail, and foundations of old farmsteads, and a cemetery are visible to remind hikers this wasn't always a forest.
Much of the trail has been spread with gravel to help control erosion, and since the trail is shared with horses and bikes it does a good job keeping the surface stable. There are portions of the trail that take short jogs down county roads, and some of the trail has been "improved" to handle logging trucks, but the majority of the trail is nearly 'tractor width'.
There are several long hill climbs, and three major creek/river crossings that will likely require wading through.
Flora & Fauna
Spring wildflowers, whitetail deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, blue herons, and more.
Shared By: Chris W