“The Loblolly Trail leads from the Reedy Creek entrance to the park boundary.”
— Justin Paul
Lake · River/Creek · Wildflowers
The Loblolly Trail is the only one-way (not a loop) trail in the park, so keep in mind that your total distance will be double for out and back. The trailhead is at the northeast corner of the parking lot at the Reedy Creek section of the park. It is about 3 miles one way to the park boundary; the sign at the trailhead that says the distance is only 2 miles is incorrect.
The trail starts past the picnic area and soon passes the Young Cemetery, one of several old cemeteries in the park. The trail is initially flat, but in about a half-mile the trail bears right heads down towards Reedy Creek. The trail used to continue straight to a footbridge over the creek. When this bridge was washed out in a storm, the park rerouted the trail in 2015. You may be able to see the remnants of the old trail. The trail crosses Reedy Creek on large stones and then heads back up to a ridgeline. Once up, the trail then heads down into the next drainage crossing on a wooden footbridge and then goes up and down through some long switchbacks. After the switchbacks, the trail gradually heads up to Reedy Creek Multiuse Trail
Across Reedy Creek Multiuse Trail
, the trail heads back into the woods, leading down past a small pond. Past the pond, the trail gradually heads up to the next intersection at South Turkey Creek Multiuse Trail
. Once across this gravel road, the last half-mile of the trail gradually leads down to the park boundary. The trail continues out of the park as the Richland Creek Trail
, part of Raleigh's Capital Area greenway, leading through Schenck Forest and finally the RBC Center and Carter-Finley Stadium.
If you're not inclined to follow the trail all the way to its terminus at the stadium, once you reach the park boundary, simply retrace your steps to return to your starting point.
Flora & Fauna
This is a good wildflower route in the spring. I've seen a number of beautiful little flowers along this trail, including dwarf crested irises.