This loop makes for a lovely, wooded run that samples a quiet corner of the Secluded Farm. With easy access from the Route 20 parking area or the Route 53 parking area, head south through the trees on the typical red-earth trails and mowed grass paths. Bring binoculars or a picnic lunch, but beware of ticks and poison ivy.
With the exception of the Saunders-Monticello Trail
, the trails in this area are short and typically loops. Use the Trail Run Project mobile app
to avoid making a wrong turn, but don't worry if you do, chances are you'll be able to ask for the right directions soon enough.
This is a great area to go for a trail run just outside of downtown Charlottesville with access to a multitude of trails for longer routes.
From the Route 20 parking area, head south on the Saunders-Monticello Trail
as it dips under Route 53 through a tunnel. The path is wide and easy to follow. At the first intersection, bear right onto a short connector trail towards the Lower Meadow Trail
. At this intersection, keep to the left and continue through the trees passing The John and Clara Smart Trail
on the left in a small clearing - this will be the return leg of the loop.
Continue southwest on the Lower Meadow Trail
as it stretches towards the Upper Meadow Trail
. In the warmer months, the vegetation and foliage can be thick with plants sometimes trying to sprout in the middle of the trail. Stay with the Upper Meadow Trail
as it bends to the left (east), crossing on the Upper Meadow Trail Bypass
into the long grass meadow. This is a nice clearing that provides respite from the sometimes claustrophobic forest.
This section of trail is on mowed grass. Be aware of ticks and mowed poison ivy. It's worth washing your hands once you've taken your shoes off later in the day. At the northeast corner of the meadow, the trail splits. Head left (north) back in the woods to The John and Clara Smart Trail
This trail merges returns to the Lower Meadow Trail
from whence you came. Follow the route back to the north through Kemper Park and the Route 20 parking area.