This is rocky terrain and its easy to blister and twist ankles, so be careful! There are horses, mountain bikers and of course other hikers and runners on this well used trail, but everyone has always been courteous and thoughtful. Wear sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc. The trail is a nice blend of sun and shade.
Park for free in the dirt lot along Channel Drive just outside the North entrance to Annadel State Park. When you get out of your car, you'll see a sign for Cobblestone Trail
; this is where you'll actually end your run.
Start your run heading east along the paved road. Once you've entered the park, you'll see the visitor center on your right. Just after this, the singletrack Channel Trail
will appear on your right. Take it. This trail parallels the paved road for about 0.5 mile, then heads up Live Oak Trail
to the right.
Take Live Oak Trail
, veering right and start a hefty climb through the trees. This climb is technically challenging as it is rocky, has roots and is singletrack. Much of it is also in the shade, so watch your step carefully. You'll gain approximately 400 feet over the next mile, crossing one stream-bed that is busy during the winter but still passable.
After approximately 0.5 miles, you'll enter an intersection of trails; bending to the left is the North Burma Trail and bending to the right is the continuation of the Live Oak Trail
- continue on Live Oak for another mile of gradual climbing in and out of trees until you eventually break out into False Lake Meadow.
Near the end of the meadow veer right onto Rough Go Trail. This section of the trail is exposed to the sun and is very rocky and technically challenging but fun! Watch those ankles! Stay on Rough-Go Trail
for approximately 0.5 miles. (NB: There are several trails that veer off Rough-Go Trail
; when in doubt, keep to the left) After 0.5 miles you reach a T-intersection, with Cobblestone Trail
on your right and Rough-Go Trail
continuing to the left. Go right onto Cobblestone.
The first mile of this trail is mostly flat with a slight incline until you reach the rock quarry. After the quarry, you'll see a sign for a loop - stay straight. In about 100 yards, the trail either continues straight and to the right or veers left sharply and downhill; go downhill. This is your final descent, enjoy it!
This area is predominantly oak forests with meadows and streams. The wildflowers are beautiful in the spring. On my visits, I've seen wild turkeys, deer, squirrels, all manner of birds, lizards and the evidence of skunks and coyotes. Take care as it is snake season, and this is certainly a habitat for rattlesnakes. Also be sure and check yourself for ticks!