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From the trailhead, hike west on a wide, grass path that winds through longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods. After 0.8 mile, cross a dirt Forest Service road and turn left for a brief road walk to Fairly Bridge Road. After connecting with the trail on the other side of the road, meander to the northwest through more longleaf pine forest.
Less than 2 miles in, the trail rolls through a series of short, sometimes steep, ascents and descents that pass through a mix of pines, oaks, beech, and other hardwoods. Less than half a mile later, a brief, but steep climb leads to a wooded hilltop. In winter when the trees are bare, views of tall pines and hardwoods stretch to the east. At mile 3, hike past moss-covered rhododendron in a lush stream drainage, then ascend a ridge with 360-degree views. Absorb the views, then prepare for the steep descent that follows.
The final 2 miles to the turnaround point trace Black Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River—look for intermittent views for the creek as the path rises above the west bank of this broad and gently flowing channel. Turn around at mile 6.4 when the route intersects FS 382 B, an asphalt road, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Marcus Woolf
- Distance: 20.8
Location: 30.917889, -88.966641
From the trailhead at the southwest end of the parking area (left of the restroom), hike west on a wide, grass path that winds through longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods.
Location: 30.9195991, -88.9771235
Cross the Forest Service road and turn left, heading south. Bug Branch flows beneath a bridge to the northwest.
Location: 30.9191021, -88.9771235
Turn right @ T-junction onto FS 374 and walk north. In roughly 500 feet, cross the paved Fairly Bridge Road and reconnect with the trail on the other side.
Location: 30.9205609, -88.9777565
After crossing the road, the trail immediately bends to the left, traveling through longleaf pines.
Location: 30.9246751, -88.988421
Begin a series of short, sometimes steep, ascents and descents that roll through a mix of pines, oaks, beech, and other hardwoods.
Location: 30.9273763, -88.9892739
Cross a fire break. Pick up the white-blazed trail on the other side of the break.
Location: 30.9289547, -88.9914036
A brief, but steep climb brings you to the top of a hill. In winter when the trees are bare, you’ll find views of tall pines and hardwoods to the east. Continue heading northwest; more rolling terrain ahead.
Location: 30.9329948, -88.997916
At the end of this climb, you’ll cross a gravel road, then connect with a wide, grassy path. Ahead: Prepare for the roller-coaster ride through a challenging series of steep climbs and drops.
Location: 30.9369244, -88.9975512
Moss-covered rhododendron and ferns cover this lush stream drainage.
Location: 30.937681, -88.997973
Take minute to absorb the 360-degree views from the top of the ridge (the forest stretches to the horizon in every direction). Next, tackle the steep descent that leads to one of many stream crossings on this hike.
Location: 30.9476539, -88.991822
You’ll catch intermittent views of Black Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River, as the path rises above the west bank of this broad and gently flowing channel.
Location: 30.945878, -89.0116596
The path intersects FS 382 B, an asphalt road. Turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead.