“A nice loop trail that includes an old family cemetery, surprising overlooks, and a mature pine forest.
— Brad S.
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This trail is part of a great trail system that is all interconnected to allow for different distances.
Buzzard's Roost is a nature preserve that encompasses approximately 1300 acres of some very unique and beautiful topography, geography, and surprising vistas in Chillicothe. Hoggard Trail is one of several trails within the preserve. The entrance to the park is unassuming, but I promise that you'll not be disappointed with the trails that await. The trail's namesake is derived from the early residents of this land.
To access Hoggard Trail, you'll see a small parking area for 2 cars in front of the entrance sign/gate. You can either pull off there or travel about 100 yards further, and you'll see a slightly larger parking area on your left. The trailhead is found at the small parking area and begins with crossing a footbridge over a small stream.
The well-marked trail will meander gently up and down through the woods as you pass a vernal pool on your left and then a small waterfall on your right. Just past this waterfall, you'll see the trail split. You may head either direction as the trail is a loop. I recommend you head left as this was the original part of the trail before it was expanded in the fall of 2016.
As you continue down the trail, you'll come to remnants of a small cemetery on you right. Here the Hoggard Family is buried with many of the headstones made of unmarked or weather-worn stone. A few hundred yards south of here, the remains of the Hoggard Family home can be found.
Leaving the cemetery, continue along the trail through a small pine grove and by an overgrown pond on your right. Follow the marked signs as you descend a slight grade and continue following the trail to your left. The trail will then begin to follow the edge of a hill overlooking State Rt 50 until you reach a bench where you can sit and contemplate Hoggard's vista.
Continuing on the trail, you'll soon enter an awesome pine forest. You'll follow a singletrack trail as you pass under towering pines that were planted in the 1930s as part of a WPA work program to help put unemployed people to work after the Great Depression.
As you exit the pine forest, you'll follow the gentle rolling contour of the land until you approach a part of the trail that skirts the sandstone cliffs of a small gorge. (Parents keep your children close.) The trail will continue easily as you then close the trail loop at a small bench and the waterfall that you passed earlier.
Flora & Fauna
A variety of plants and animals can be found in the wooded areas, wildflower fields, and old agricultural ponds.