I just relocated to NC and have been on this trail a few times already. I love that you don't have to go too far before you get the quiet nature. Beautiful hike and the trail is well marked. I'll be doing this one more in the future. Watch out for the falling acorns. :-)
I did the Robin's Branch to Birkhead / Hannah's Creek loop. Nothing strenuous, beautiful forests, nice creek, and some history mixed in as well. Saw a few old stone walls, collapsed stone chimney, and the site of a 1780 plantation. Quite a few obstacles in the form of fallen trees, as this loop doesn't appear to be used all that often. Wear tick repellant, and watch out for snakes. Lots of turtles and crawdads to be seen down by the creek. I plan to return to hike all of the other trails in the area.
With my son Tyler on 9/05/15.
I wore a Garmin Fenix 3 and my son Sunnto Ambit 3 Peak.
After this hike I returned my Garmin and bought the Sunnto.
Garmin recorded horrible distance/pace/elevation.
Only thing it recorded correctly was heart rate and time which was an average heart rate
of 152 for 3:23:54.
Sons distance was 9.9 while I recorded 10.6.
We went a little past the sign in the pictures posted and turned around and went back. Lost sight of the white blazes and decided to go back wat we camn.
I was rucking a 35lb pack with 3 liters water added and ran out of water with around a mile left.
Planning on going back this coming weekend
This was the first co-op hike for me and my 11 year old son. We completed the loop in a little under 6 hours starting at the Thornburg trailhead and looping back. Great scenery and from my little bit of hiking experience, a moderate trail. Will go again in late fall and will review again.
We combined Hannah's Creek Trail with the Robbins Branch Trail and the Birkhead Mountain trail to complete a loop (we left from the Tot Hill trail head which adds another four miles to the 8 mile loop. Birkhead Mountain Trail featured a climb from Tot Hill Parking to hiking along several ridges, connecting to the other two trails. In November there were hunters sharing the trails, so recommend wearing bright colors that don't blend in with greens, browns or fall colors. Blaze orange is best. We also came across several scout troops planning to camp. This trail would be heavily wooded in the summer, and I really prefer more exposed hiking. Still was a great workout with enough variety to keep you interested. Trail markers are good and blazed white; in the leaf covered forest, you could lose the trail, so be sure to stick with the blazes.
The USFS notes this trail as difficult, but it is better rated as moderate but only because there is an elevation gain of over 300' (+/-) near the beginning of the Tot Hill TH. Otherwise, the trail would best be described as easy. Some of the most interesting parts are the ancient rocks jutting out of the mountain (the "bones" of the mountain). It is a great trail for kids and families and dogs because it is designated as hiking only (no bikes, atvs, horses), although it is not uncommon to see piles of horse manure and hoof tracks on the trail.