Cliatt Creek Nature Trail Loop
This 3.75-mile trail has a maximum grade of 25% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed white. Parking and the trailhead are across from the office next to an information kiosk. The trail soon crosses a paved road, descends to the Cliatt Creek, follows the creek and then ascends and crosses a second paved park road. It continues its upland loop back to the office. This area was originally fields of cotton, corn and tobacco grown in rotation. Now fields are replaced by pines, oaks, sweetgum and beech. Stop to enjoy the cool temperatures and beauty along Cliatt Creek. In spring you may see a rare silky camellia in bloom. Along the uplands section of the trail, you are likely to see deer.
Canyon Trail Loop
This 1/3-mile trail has a maximum grade of 10% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed red and white. This is a loop trail off the Cliatt Creek Trail. Begin on the Cliatt Creek Trail between the office and the nature center. Follow the Cliatt Creek Trail (blazed white) behind the office for 1/10 mile. Watch for the Canyon Trail Loop red and white blazes to your right. Along this loop you’ll come to a canyon caused by water run-off from poor farming practices in the 1920s. This is a good spot for a photo and to rest on benches.
This 1/2-mile trail has a maximum grade of 10% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed deep pink. This is a connector trail off the Beach Trail. From the Beach Trail, look for a sign designating a right turn onto the Office Trail. The Office Trail merges with an old dirt road, crosses a paved road and dead ends at the Cliatt Creek Trail (blazed white). Follow the Cliatt Creek Trail 1/4 mile back to the office. The beginning of the Office Trail is in deep woods and a good place to see deer, squirrel, and other woodland animals.
This 1.9-mile trail has a maximum grade of 20% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed yellow. It begins just southwest of the campground opposite the dump station. Here it is blazed both yellow and white because it runs with the Campground Loop Trail for 3/4 mile. At the 3/4 mile point, the Campground Loop Trail turns right (west, white blaze only) while the Beach Trail (now blazed only yellow) continues straight south and then turns east to the beach. The Beach Trail provides a scenic way to access the beach. It goes through pines and hardwoods, across a bridge, then crosses a paved road and terminates at the beach. You’ll catch glimpses of the lake, sharp eyes will spot mistletoe high in trees. This is a good place to look for songbirds and woodland animals.
Campground Loop Trail
This 1.5-mile trail has a maximum grade of 15% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed white. The Trailhead is just southwest of the campground opposite the dump station. Here it is blazed both yellow and white because it runs with the Beach Trail for 3/4 mile. At the 3/4 mile point, the Campground Loop Trail turns right (west, white blaze only) while the Beach Trail (now blazed only yellow) continues straight. The Campground Loop Trail crosses a paved road and continues through a stand of American holly, descends to the lake, crosses a tributary by footbridge and back up to the campground. This heavily used trail offers opportunities to view both woodland and lakeshore wildlife.
Rock Dam Trail
This 6.25-mile trail has a maximum grade of 25% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed blue. The Rock Dam Trail requires 4 stream crossings and is the park’s most challenging trail. To access this trail, start at the parking area across from the office to the left of an information kiosk. Follow the Cliatt Creek Trail (blazed white) across the paved road and descend to the Cliatt Creek. Now look for the Rock Dam Trailhead (blue blaze) on your right. Follow the blue blazes across the Cliatt Creek in a counterclockwise direction. In about 1.5 miles you will come to the intersection with the Rock Dam Return Loop Trail. To return to the office, follow the Return Loop (blazed red and blue) or continue on the Rock Dam Trail across the scenic Rock Dam and back to the office via the Cliatt Creek Trail. The Rock Dam Trail runs into a deep ravine, near the highest point in the park (465 feet), and allows maximum opportunity to see wildlife and wildflowers. Refer to the map frequently and know where you are at all times.
Rock Dam Return Loop Trail
This 1-mile trail has a maximum grade of 15% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed red and blue. This is a shortcut on the Rock Dam Trail. It begins about 1.5 miles from the Rock Dam Trailhead. The Return Loop Trail is an old dirt road. Follow the red and blue blazes (north) and turn left (west) when you see blue blazes on your left. This is a wide trail and you may see plants and animals that prefer woods near open areas.
Caution: the old road which makes up the Return Loop Trail continues past the intersection with the north portion of the Rock Dam Trail. If you no longer see red and blue blazes, you have gone too far.
This 1/3-mile trail has a maximum grade of 25% in 200 feet. The trail is blazed orange. This is a spur trail to the Beach Trail. From cottages 1-5, follow the paved road toward the park exit. The Cottage Trailhead is about 1/4 mile from the cottages on your right (north). Look for a trail sign and orange blazes. This trail is short but descends steeply to a bridge, across a stream, and up a gentler slope to the beach trail (blazed yellow). Turn right (east) following the yellow Beach Trail to the beach area. From the cottages to the beach is 1 mile one way. The stream crossing is a good place to see wetland animals.