“A switchbacking singletrack with an overlook of the Elk River.”
— Steve Creech
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. The gate at the bridge is closed at dusk, so make sure you're out before sunset so you don't get trapped.
The Patriot Trail is accessible from the Fire Road Trail
. Both of its junctions with the Fire Road Trail
are marked with wooden signs. Starting from the lower (western) trailhead, veer left off of the Fire Road Trail
onto the Patriot Trail. The trail has a short climb, with nice (but short) ridgeline views (views are only available when the leaves are down) and then descends to the first of two short wooden bridges. The trail has multiple switchbacks and has reasonable grades throughout.
At the northernmost point of the trail, there is a small overlook with views over the Elk River. Again, the view is better when the leaves are off the trees. The eastern section of the trail has the steepest climb of the trail heading up to its eastern junction with the Fire Road Trail
. This trail can be a more interesting alternative to the doubletrack Fire Road Trail
This is a great park within a 10 minute drive of downtown Charleston and is easily accessed within ten minutes from I-77, I-64, and I-79 making it a great stop to stretch out the legs during a long drive.