“A heavily wooded trail that feels as though you're on the set of Planet of the Apes.”
— Vanessa McKnight
This trail gives you a feel as though you're in another dimension by circling a chimpanzee sanctuary. That, coupled with towering trees, creeks and ferns, make it feel as though you aren't near a major city.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Bug spray is a must. The signs indicating park closures are only referencing Chimp Haven, not trail access.
The trail immediately begins on a densely wooded singletrack, for the first three miles of twisting and turning and ups and downs if you are lucky you'll feel as though you are on the set of the filming for Planet of the Apes as the trail circles a chimpanzee rescue. They're much easier to hear at the top of the trail. Once you reach mile three the forest changes and the trees become slightly less dense for a brief section. There are many creek and small gorge crossings as you traverse the first four miles.
The trail begins to intertwine with the horse trail where it jogs on and off for a little more than a mile, mostly the trail is straight and wide in this area, there is a pleasant creek crossing in this area.
As the trail begins to work its way back towards the trailhead you enter singletrack and make your way into a field. In this area, there are two ponds divided by ranch road which allows you to enter back onto the trail. The trail is once again heavily wooded and occasionally permits an upper view of the ponds and field. You'll work your way towards the road that enters that park, here you can opt out and call it a day (making your trek approximately 8 miles) or you can cross the road and complete the trail.
Once you re-enter the trail there's approximately 1.5-2 miles of twisting trail back to the trailhead.