DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
436 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

wildlife

hiking
3 months ago

Had a great weekend here with my son (10) camping and hiking. We did the full trail and all the loops twice over the weekend. It is a great trail for young and novice hikers. There are some more technical aspects to the trail in the red section, but isn't terribly challenging in the other parts of the trail system. We had a blast. I had never camped here before. I've been to Isle du Bois more times than I can count, and it has a great DORBA trail system too ... but this was my first time at Johnson Branch.

Our site was in the "Dogwood Canyon" primitive camping area, and the sites there are great. If you are a hammock camper (like me) you will want to avoid most of the waterfront sites in that area for lack of good hanging options. However, the inland sites offer plenty of places to hang your hammock, and are a little more sheltered from the winds that can come in strong off the lake (like we had this weekend).

The total trail system is about 9 miles if you do all the loops, which is substantially smaller than the sister park on the other side of the lake (Isle du Bois) ... but the foot traffic is noticeably less and we only encountered a handful of bikes on the trail. It was a great weekend and we'll definitely be back. The trail is a great one to do some training on for longer backpacking trips and hikes. I was pleasantly surprised to find this little gem right around the corner from where everyone else goes when they try to camp at Lake Ray Roberts.