Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
This is a shared trail that is used for trail running, horses, hiking, and mountain biking. Hunting is allowed, so check the board at the trailhead, wear bright colors, and stay on the trail.
This trail is blazed by dark blue rectangles for both legs. Blazing can be sparse at times, especially around the arboretum where there are a lot of different spurs, loops, and overlooks. You don't have to worry about getting lost, but you could end up adding some distance easily. There have been some additions to the trail, so the maps you see may not be updated.
There is parking close by, but only a few spaces, so when the weather is nice it might be hard to find a spot and you might have to run a little bit to the trailhead. There's also a full playground, picnic area, and lake at this end of the trail. This trail is mostly covered, so it's perfect for those hot and sunny days.
This run covers two parts of the same trail, the Tuckahoe Valley Trail. The trail is divided by Adkins Arboretum, so if you don't want to run the trail end-to-end the arboretum is a great place to start. Where I began on this map is the North Tuckahoe Valley Trail.
Heading south along the trail, it's pretty open and flat with a few hills to go up and down. Coming through the woods, your first intersection will be with the Piney Loop Branch; this is a short loop that drops you off pretty close to where you pick it up.
You'll cross over two short bridges and then exit into the arboretum's property (you'll see a sign). The trail here is wide and covered in crushed stone. The official trail branches to the left here, but if you stay to the right you can take the creekside trail that keeps you away from the traffic of the arboretum.
Continuing through the creekside trail (not to be confused with the Creekside Cliff Trail
on the south end of the trail), you'll meet up with the South Tuckahoe Valley Trail. From here, there's a few more creek crossings, more roots than the first half, and a few short climbs. I would recommend branching off at the Creekside Cliff Trail
(which is yellow blazed) for a nice little area along the creek.
If you stay on the South Tuckahoe Valley Trail it will eventually open up between tall thin trees and a crushed stone double wide path. Follow this, until you hit a small bridge over a swamp. The other side is the trailhead. If you took the Creekside Cliff Trail
, you'll make a left after you pass under the power lines and before the graveyard and cut through the woods to reach this trailhead. If you're doing an out-and-back there's no need to cross the swamp.
Flora & Fauna
When you're on the arboretum's property there are tons of signs noting the species of plant you're looking at. Along the trail itself, you'll find a pretty good collection of local plant life, including poison ivy/oak, so be careful. There's also a good amount of mosquitos and horse flies along this trail, and spiders love to spin webs across the trail.
The better news is you'll see plenty of amphibians around, especially when you're near the creek. You'll see white tails here occasionally, but they won't stick around for too long. I've run across a turkey, and plenty of small animals. The arboretum is a better place to go if you want bird watching and plant life.
Shared By: Jeff Mollica