Beautiful lakeside hike — about three miles of easy hiking with minimal elevation. Don’t miss the animal habitat and the fire tower out and back if you want some extra miles and a great view. One of our go-to family hikes when the leaves “pop” in the fall.

We got off trail a bit to start but made it up to the fire tower. Very cool with 360 view. Beautiful day for a hike...I would say it’s an easier trail, not moderate. The only real elevation gain is the 1/2 mile up to the fire tower. Narrow trail and fairly busy.

29 days ago

Some areas have a beautiful view along the water. Other areas are just not safe. Don't recommend traveling alone on this!

Straight up mountain but the views are well worth it when u reach the top

Loved it ~ gorgeous trail alongside lake. Made a few wrong turns but got back on track for the fire tower no problem. I recommend grabbing a park map too to follow. I ended up taking the Lake Road back instead of Chinquapin Trail. Shortened it a little. Moderate is a good rating for it, but the .6mi of Fire Tower Trail is steep. Highly recommend water and breaks for the unseasoned hiker during that section. It’s a smooth downhill trek after. Very relaxing!

Its straight up the mountain but so worth it when you reach the top

Trail starts out easy and is somewhat scenic around the lake. Once you start up the mountain it’s fairly steep. I would recommend going in early spring or late fall so once you climb the top of the tower you can enjoy a great view with the leafs off. Trail was marked well

It’s a lot of up hill on the way up. Pretty views at the top!

Not easy in the rain. Be careful, very slippery. Also, the ridgeline branch is very steep.

Great views from the top of the tower on a clear day! The tower, like many other reviews, is quite old and some boards have quite a bit of space between them so be cautious in your step.

Pretty easy trail.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

A family favorite!

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
fee
5 months ago

hiking
blowdown
6 months ago

Enjoyed both loops. Evidence of blowdown that has been cut, so the trail is in good condition. One spot on the ridge loop is still blocked by a large oak trunk but can squeeze through or climb over. Slopes are a bit slick due to recent snow and leaves. Always enjoy this walk. Last time I visited some time ago the gate was closed, I assume due to the aforementioned blowdown.

hiking
washed out
6 months ago

This was the first big trail I took my kids on, and it was more tough than I expected. We started at noon and had a great and challenging time! We ended up getting behind a group of about twenty folks and it was a blast once we all reached the tower. Excellent challenge with great scenery, and good areas to cool down on. I will say the trail changeover at the access road was hard to see today and we ended up having to backtrack a quarter mile or so, but even so it was a great time.

Great trail and views up at the top. The foliage is beautiful this time of year.

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

road biking
bridge out
7 months ago

To be clear, I did not end up riding on the trail... I found the beginning of the trail and was actually driving on the beginning (no vehicles) because it was not marked well. I passed a friendly cop that helped me find a place to turn around. I asked him how safe it was... he said if I were you id carry pepper spray where you can grab it quick. I thought oh not a big deal I have that. I made it back to the parking lot, as I was getting ready (found a perfect spot for my pepper spray) to unload my bike a strange man (part of the bridge reconstruction crew) pulls up and says did you not see the sign? What sign? You’re going to get a ticket... don’t be mad at me when you do. Ladies, guy was a creeper... I thought great... I drove here to finally ride this trail I’ve heard many speak of and now the man is going to have me towed. I waited a while and contemplated leaving. Creeper sat in his truck and waited for me to leave. I drove around trying to find another area to get on the trail. No signs are posted! It seems to be a popular trail but why are there no other signs indicating it?

Challenging parts but worth it at the top of the tower.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful walk, has inspired my wife and I to buy bicycles!

hiking
8 months ago

Bottom trail fairly flat, upper loops were steeper. No rain in weeks so everything was very dry. Very lightly trafficked.

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

It was confusing left right down up of track. :\ My feet were VERY,VERY sore! But the dam is cool. Bug were flying into my face it was annoying. It was very dark. With fun it would be a 3. The bad: 3. It was like a 2 hour walk or bike. The dogs made a little worse.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail is very well-maintained, however it is clearly catered mostly to Mountain Bikers. We found ourselves frequently dodging mountain bikers on this trail. Otherwise the trail was relatively flat and easy to hike. Would recommend with small children or animals. Not strenuous. Definitely classify this as easy and not moderate. We also stopped to look at the animals before hiking and found it quite sad. Aquatic/reptile section was nearly non-existent and the tanks still running were filthy. Birds had very small enclosures with no room to fly. Did not see any otters (the otter pond was filthy as well, perhaps that exhibit has been closed for a while). All around very depressing.

great trail for a leisure bike ride for beginners, has some slight inclines but 90% of the trail is flat and mostly shaded depending on your starting point. There are several access points and parking available. I would highly recommend this trail.

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