Located at Bays Mountain Park. Very popular hiking loop trail around the reservoir. It connects with many other park trails, thus a common starting point. Officially takes 90 minutes on maintained path with moderate climbs and drops. A few benches are scattered along the trail. Points of interest include floating bridge, beaver activity (dams, lodges, and down/gnawed trees), lillypad pond, and the wolves and other animal habitats. Note red dirt from maroon shale in places.
How to get there
From parking lot, either cross the dam to hike in a clockwise direction or start at back of animal habitat by the aviary area.
|0.0||Dam, end nearest Nature Center||2.4|
|0.1||Dam, far end||2.3|
|0.2||Pine Trail junction||2.2|
|0.5||Cherry Knobs Trail junction||1.9|
|1.1||Beaver Pond Bridge/ Sweet Gum Trail junction||1.3|
|1.6||Hemlock Tr./ (Fire Tower Trail) junction||0.8|
|1.7||Holly Trail/ Towhee Trail junction||0.7|
|1.8||Holly Trail junction||0.6|
|2.1||Fern Trail junction||0.3|
|2.3||Water Fowl Aviary/ Laurel Trail junction||0.1|
The park does an excellent job keeping this most popular trail open. The path is heavily used, but sometime covered with mulch.
Dogs are not allowed around the animal habitats, thus may have to skirt using Lake Road.
After the Hike
The animal habitats are a hit with kids of all ages.