Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
When you start the trail, you'll cross two wooden bridges. The trail is signed in a counterclockwise direction with colored arrows. You'll begin on the North Trail (blazed in red arrows) which is 6.5 miles long, and if you split off halfway through to do the South Trail
(blazed in blue arrows) it will add an additional 4 miles.
You'll climb to a bluff with great views over Pickle Creek, this is your first taste of the beauty of this trail. Then continue down and around to a second view of Pickle Creek, you'll hear it rushing by below you. The trail then descends to the creek with a crossing. While there's no bridge, there are plenty of rocks to hop across.
The trail follows the creek through a grove of pines and then makes another crossing. It will follow the creek for for a mile or two, then you'll begin your ascent. Once the trail climbs through a rocky outcropping you'll be deep in the pine forest and begin another slow climb. Once you reach the top, there are great views from two points along the ridgeline.
The trail then drops back down and this is where you have the choice to take the addition of the South Trail
. To stay on the North Trail, keep to the left at this junction.
From here, the trail continues on and there is a nice open area at the top of climb to enjoy the view and take a rest. The trail then drops back down and follows a small feeder creek which is mostly dry in the summer, but active in the spring.
The trail rejoins Pickle Creek across from the main campgrounds and you run up the bluff line with lots of great views over the tree tops.
Water is not available at the trailhead, but can be obtained at the park office or the campground.