“A great overnight trip or longer day run through pine forests and rolling hills providing beautiful lakeside views.”
— Ben Rosenberg
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Seasonal closure: Tuesday after Labor Day until April of the next year.
This route is a beautiful run with well-established camping around the halfway mark. Visitors will enjoy easy creek crossings, views of the lake, and a number of chances to view local wildlife.
Need to Know
Campsites are between $10-20 per night, payable via cash or check. If you're not camping, a $3 day fee is required.
Coming from Alexandria, follow Messina Road south. The paved road will bear away to the right. Follow the dirt road straight ahead. You'll see the well-marked trailhead off to the right. Park your car and gear up.
Begin heading west on the Wild Azalea Trail
, following the yellow blazes. This trail will meander through a pine forest. You'll eventually run into the Lamotte Creek Trail
. Turn right onto the Lamotte Creek Trail
and follow the white trail blazes.
The Lamote Creek Trail will wind along the edge of the Kincaid Lake before doubling back on itself. It will dead end inside of the Kincaid Recreation Area when it intersects the Kincaid Loop Trail
. Turn left (west) onto this trail. Your path will now be marked with blue blazes. You'll shortly come to an intersection with the Wild Azalea Spur Trail
. Do not take it to the left. Continue to follow the blue blazes to the right. The trail will only once cross a paved road. At that time, make sure to check in with the park ranger and pay your daily fee if you are not camping.
Continue across the road and follow the trail. The trail will eventually emerge on the Day Use area. Follow the paved sidewalk past the picnic and swimming areas. The path will re-enter the woods. At the next three way intersection, you have a choice. Left will continue to follow the trail. Right will take you to the camping area. We decided to call it a day here, as it is about halfway through the trail.
In the morning, backtrack from the small off-shoot trail and turn right back onto the Kincaid Loop Trail
, blazed in blue. Continue to follow this trail on the edge of the peninsula, enjoying the beautiful views of the lake. You'll eventually come across a turn for the Indian Ridge Trail
off to the left. Continue straight, following the trail you are on. On our way home we decided to take a different route, although you could easily backtrack across the Lamotte Creek Trail
. If you would like to take a different path, follow the Kincaid Loop Trail
past the Lamotte Creek Trail
that you came in on until you come to the turnoff for the Wild Azalea Spur Trail
Turn left onto the Wild Azalea Spur Trail
, and follow the orange blazes back to the Wild Azalea Trail
. Once you reach the main trail turn left (east) to begin your final push back to the car. The scenery will quickly become familiar as you retrace your steps back to the parking lot.