DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
603 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

historic site

hiking
8 months ago

We were the only two cars in the parking lot when we arrived at 9am on a Saturday morning. Looking for a trail head the first one we found said Palmetto trail but the only Palmetto trail marked on the park map is way on the other side of the park? Since we didn't want to start off in the wrong place, we decided to continue down the street a little and found the Fairforest Creek trail. We followed it down to the bridge which takes you over to the Southside Trail System. There's a sign at the bridge warning you that it is the only crossing and that the trail system beyond is extensive, to get a map at the park office if you are unfamiliar with it. We followed the Southside Loop Trail clockwise and found it to be pretty well marked. I'd call it an easy to moderate trail (though it did get quite slippery in some place with snow still melting!) We startled a large herd of dear, must have been at least 10, just behind the shooting range of all places but saw only smaller critters after that. On the first half of our hike we didn't encounter anyone and then it did get a little busier (in all we probably ran into 20-25 people, mostly on mountain bikes.) By the time we got back to the parking lot it was packed.