River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Pleasant, level trails are combined with brief sections of more technical grades to make this a fun, slightly challenging run for beginners. Enjoy beautiful scenery, catch glimpses of local wildlife, and take a refreshing rest at Fern Cave.
Need to Know
During warmer months, start your run early to avoid the scorching mid-day sun and heat. Pack a snack and plenty of water. Consider bringing water filtration and purification equipment should you wish to refill water bottles at Fern Cave.
Warm up with a short jaunt on the Canyon Loop Trail before turning west to begin the climb up to the Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail. The climb is short but quite steep, ascending nearly 500 feet in about a quarter of a mile. This is not your average "walk in the park"; you'll need just a bit of both cardiovascular and muscular stamina to enjoy the climb. Stop frequently to observe how the view of the landscape to the east changes as you ascend.
Head west and north, and descend to Fern Cave, where you'll usually find a spring of cold water trickling from the rock and forming a small pool.
Cool off and take a rest before beginning the return run along the Upper Canyon Trail and Canyon Loop Trail. These are largely level, flat trails, allowing you to observe the impressive landscape all around as you make your way back to the trailhead.