“A bluff trail overlooking a beautiful stream valley with several rare plants along the way.”
— Matthew Rutledge
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife
The trail is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
The Justice Loop can be accessed from a small pull-off parking area along Jock Road, or by its connection to the Hart Trail
or the Walker Trail
. The Loop winds through an upland oak forest on steep bluffs overlooking a stream in the valley below. Stop and rest at the bench overlooking the stream as it meanders through the property.
Several rare plants are found along the Justice Loop, including sweet pinesap, a herbaceous perennial wildflower that is mycotrophic, which means that the plant does not use photosynthesis for growth, but rather is a parasite on a root-dwelling fungus.
Along the trail, you'll pass several cat-faced pine stumps. These pines were once tapped for turpentine by debarking an area and making a series of cuts into the tree, the "cat-face", to collect and funnel the turpentine. In North Carolina, longleaf pine was used extensively for turpentine production, though there is no way to tell to which species of pine these stumps belong.