“This is a moderately easy trail with great water features that you can knock out in an hour with kids.”
— Aaron Sanderson
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Some of the trails in Lake Catherine State Park close during hunting season, but this one usually stays open year round. Check with the park service just to make sure.
At about 1.7 miles long, this is a nice, easy, family-friendly trail. From the parking lot, head south on the trail, which in the beginning is shared with the Horseshoe Mountain Trail
. After only a tenth of a mile, the Horseshoe Mountain Trail
splits off to the right and you begin to follow the Falls Branch Trail. In the beginning of the loop there is a little bit of climbing, but after midway the trail is mostly a gentle descent. There is a beautiful waterfall (Falls Branch Falls) about 75% of the way through the trail (about one mile from the start). The waterfall is a lovely spot where we often allow the children to splash around and swim, and makes a great place for a picnic.
During the spring, summer, and early fall, runners are encouraged to wear long pants and bring bug repellent—there are ticks and mosquitoes. There is usually light to moderate traffic on this trail.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers, mushrooms, hardwoods, and pines all grow here. Small creatures can be found everywhere. Be cautious of ticks and snakes, especially in the spring and summer.