“A nice wildflower trail in the spring that traverses St. Joseph's Hill Preserve.
— David Hitchcock
Birding · Wildflowers
St. Joseph's Hill Preserve is open 1/2 an hour before sunrise to 1/2 an hour after sunset.
The trail is washed out in sections and rocks make it hard on ankles.
The Jones Trail trailhead is found on Alma Bridge Road where there are two parking areas for Lexington County Park. The trail climbs steeply along an old fire road that is made up of crumbling asphalt. The trail is steep for roughly a tenth of a mile as it climbs away from the Lexington Reservoir, with wildflowers and eucalyptus trees lining the trail. The trail cuts back to the left and climbs less steeply and enters into St. Joseph's Hill Preserve where there is a large informational kiosk with maps of the area. Reaching its high point at .25 miles, the trail begins to descend less steeply into the preserve. Views of Highway 17 and the surrounding hills come into view off to the left before the trail enters the woods. Sounds from the highway can be heard along the entirety of this trail due to its proximity to Highway 17. At roughly half a mile, the Novitiate Trail
breaks off to the right and climbs higher into the preserve.
From this point the trail descends through the woods toward Novitiate Park on the other side of the preserve. A fence on the right hand side of the trail indicates private property immediately adjacent to the trail. More rocks and roots are encountered in this section of the trail. At roughly .9 miles, the Flume Trail
breaks off to the left while the Jones Trail continues straight ahead. At 1 mile, the trail descends more steeply to its terminus in Novitiate Park, where the woods open up as it enters the park. An informational kiosk in the park provides information about the preserve and a map with the trails on it.
From this point, you can turn around and follow the trail back to your car or take the Flume Trail
back to where it joins the Jones Trail as an alternative loop.
Flora & Fauna
In the spring, a wide variety of wildflowers and flowering plants can be seen along the trail.
Rabbits, lizards, and various species of birds can be seen and heard along the trail.