This 3.1-mile loop in Sawnee Mountain Preserve is just one option available to day hikers, trail runners, climbers, and families out for a day in the woods. Starting from a recently refurbished trailhead area, this clockwise loop wanders west to pick up the south end of the Laurel Trail. Wander past an abandoned gold mine shaft at the bottom of the loop—one of several scattered throughout the preserve—before starting a gentle climb up to the playground at the Outdoor Education Center near the top of the loop.
Continuing east, the Laurel Trail skirts the northern contours of the ridge under cover of hickory and oak before picking up the Indian Seats Trail on the approach to the loop’s two overlooks (and Indian Seats climbing access). Bring binoculars to savor superb northward views of Blue Ridge peaks before following the trail 0.8 mile south back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Scott Sanders