Settler house ruins and solitude make for a great day!
This hike is located right off of I-66, west of Gainesville.
starting the hike, grab a trail map from the board in the parking lot, there are some extra trails that you can add onto your hike making it longer.
The first part of the hike is strenuous as you have to climb over the 1st ridge using switchbacks, but the hike is flat after that, so given the distance of 3 miles it is being rated as moderate.
Great stone walls, wild turkey viewing, settler homes (that are intact) 3 buildings, some water views, a nice rock garden to have lunch on, and most of all..... SOLITUDE (i was the only one on this trail today!!)
no entrance fee.
have lunch in the rock gardens around points 15-17.
Some general tips
bring bugspray in summer, the retention pond has some bugs
lunch in the rock garden area is great, lots of huge rocks to sit on
Enjoyed this hike very much....easy to find the trail head and parking lots. Unfortunately we did not have this great website until we got home.....our printed map was all.....we got a bit turned around on johns trail but it only added time to our beautiful day. Steep grades only for the very beginning of hike then mostly flats with some change....peaceful and at 8am we were the only car in the lot. Overall a peaceful hike watch for downed trees on left where johns trail intersects and take the left scrambling over the trees.....that will start you in the right directions. Visited on Apr 01, 2012
I didn't know what to expect until I got to the parking area. You'll see the welcome board with maps and notices and you can park in front of that. Just walk up the road a little ways to pick up the trailhead. The first part of the hike is the most strenuous with the switchbacks. It's not bad, I'm just out of shape (this was my first hike in quite a while). I reached the stone wall and didn't know if I should go left or right. I ended up going to the right, so I completed the trip in a counterclockwise direction. Saw some deer, but no turkeys. Thought I heard some, but that could have been the trees rubbing against each other in the wind. The hike was very relaxing and quiet and I really got a kick out of the settler buildings at the back end of the loop. I was the only person on the entire hike. Two things to note... the guide says that this hike is pet friendly, but the sign at the parking area says "No Dogs". Up to you how you choose to deal with that. Another is a posted warning on the settler house that says "Danger, do not enter". Again, up to you how you choose to deal with that. I completed the hike in about two and a half hours, but I like to stop and appreciate the sights instead of charging through. Fun hike, especially if you don't have a lot of time. I'd do it again. Visited on Jan 16, 2012