“Good climb from the lake to the ridge top and back down for that downhill burn.”
— L B
Lake · River/Creek
The signs for Lake Ridge Trail states 1.85 miles one way, but if you run one-way between the Nature Center at Steele Creek Park and Rooster Front Park it is 2.3 miles. I traveled from Rooster Front Park toward Steele Creek Park. The trailhead is difficult to find in the summer, but easily spotted in fall/winter.
Cross the bridge on the left at the map sign. It is the trail on your right that immediately begins ascending (note: as this trail begins, it goes to the left or straight up). Go straight up for the Lake Ridge Trail. Soon there will be another left turn. Stay straight. The trail will climb and level off at intervals to the top and then go down and level off at intervals on the way back down. There are several switchbacks.
The trail is wide enough to run single file and on the ridge near the creek and lake it is very narrow. I have a fear of heights, and there were two stretches of narrow trail I had to take a deep breath and just focus on getting through it, but I was running on completely leaf covered trail the entire way and I may not have felt so insecure at these points had it been in the summer on dirt. Even though the trail is leaf covered, I could tell it was primarily dirt with roots here and there and some rocks here and there but nothing major. I was able to step around or over any muddy spots.
There are 3 bridges and no creek hopping. Blazes on the Steele Creek Park side of the ridge are fresh but on the Rooster Front Park side are fading (as of Nov 2018) but detectable. The 454 ft lake overlook side trail on the Steele Creek Park side was a bust. Even in November with the leaves mostly gone the view was very obstructed. This site rates this trail as moderate to difficult. I would only say it is moderate to difficult for a non-runner. A regular runner would find it mostly easy with a little bit of moderate.