DISTANCE
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1266 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

views

wildlife

backpacking
3 days ago

Hiked this trail with my 3 kids (9, 12, & 14-years old) as an overnight starting on 6/9/18. We had a wonderful time and were lucky to catch a cool spell with nights in the 50’s and days in the 70’s. This was my kids first backpacking experience and upon finishing I am happy with my choice of Hickory Creek as a starter trip. We took the southern portion first and camped at Jack’s Run for the night, finishing the trail the next day.

The trail is topographically mild with little to speak of in the way of elevation changes. That said, there is a good diversity of habitat along the trail with the southern leg of the loop being a closer canopy-covered section, the bend north has some meadow areas and then northern leg more openly wooded.

I am glad that I read the other reviews here, because as warned stinging nettle on the southern section is dominant and we all wore pants on day 1 in preparation for it. By the northern portion the nettle ends and ferns are the dominant undergrowth. Some reviewers here claim that the trail is hard to follow, but in our case and season, I found the course pretty obvious and that blazes, although dim, were rather frequent and easy to follow. The trail gets a bit sketchy to follow around both Coon’s Run and Jack’s Run were most of the fire-ring campsites have been made and beaten down side trails occur, but we were able to find the course again in short time.

Both Coon’s and Jack Runs were following well and water was easy to find and filter. We saw some black bear scat, but never an actual bear. Our animal sightings were deer, small mammals, birds, and a single newt.

We were off trail by lunch on day 2 and spent one more night at Heart’s Content Campground where that night the fireflies put on a beautiful show for us in the meadow. I’d recommend that people give this trail a leisurely overnight or long day. Time and obligations make it hard to get out, but I hope that my kids and I will be able to make the time more often now that they’ve enjoyed their first backcountry camping adventure.