“An excellent loop over mixed terrain with some creek crossings.”
— Darin Millsap
This is a great three-mile loop that has it all. Starting from the parking lot, a short doubletrack gets you across the dam and to the trailhead. From there, runners can head in either direction around this fun loop. This is a popular trail with mountain bikers so expect some two-wheeled friends while you run.
Heading counter-clockwise, there's a short bit of root-strewn up-and-down that ends at an old road-trace. The trail widens almost to a doubletrack and continues to be fairly flat. This eventually narrows back to a singletrack before a rougher creek crossing and short climb. Ahead, the trail crosses a gravel access road and continues on up a moderate hill with plenty of roots.
A quick descent ends in another creek crossing before the singletrack follows along the bank, with another crossing farther on. Be warned that these crossings can be a bit full if it has recently rained, but they are usually passable with a little ingenuity or willingness to get your feet wet.
The flat traverse ends in a rocky climb that's littered with roots and rocks. Near the top, there's an intersection where the connector trails for the Thompson River Trail - South Loop
take off. The trail widens again and the climb continues easily to the top of the hill and through a hilltop meadow.
Descending down through trees again, the trail is rooty but not too steep. It snakes around a bit and crosses a rocky dry creek before a rocky descent brings you back down to the bottom of the hill and soon another trail intersection with a connector leading up to the campgrounds.
The rest of the trail is follows rock and root speckled rolling terrain. At a crossing with one of the park's paved roads there is a trail map. On the other side is a descent with a sharp turn that ends at another water crossing. The Tall Oaks Trail continues to undulate back-and-forth along the lake shore to return to the start.