This loop will take you through the lovely thick and mossy forest in Tryon State Park. There are plenty of small elevation changes that keep the trail interesting, but not too strenuous. There are a few creek crossings that are the highlight of the park. The forest is second-growth but still lovely considering that it is in the city. This park will be full of families with young kids and lots of dogs. The biggest downside is that there are no good views from this park.
This is a no-fee state park.
There is quite a bit of parking at the main visitors center, but this does fill up completely on nice weekends, resulting in cars parking along Terwilliger Blvd. You may want to arrive early or later on in the day to find easier parking. Although this park is very popular, the crowds do dissipate on the trails so it doesn't feel as crowded as the parking would suggest.
This loop begins and ends at the visitors center which has a small nature center and park information. Head north along the paved sections of the Old Main Trail
, past the gazebo and link up with the North Horse Loop
, a multi-use trail with a wide gravel-fill surface. Stay to the right/east when the North Horse Loop
splits. At the northern end look for a spur leading towards the "Law School" and then shortly thereafter look for the Lewis and Clark Trail
on the left/west. This is a nice windy foot trail that heads south. You'll pass the 4th Ave Trail
which leads to a small parking area and then cross Terry Riley Bridge, a short suspension bridge.
Soon you'll arrive at the "center" of the park: High Bridge. This is a study bridge build over Tyron Creek with a three-way intersection on each side. Cross the bridge and look for the West Horse Loop. Take that and hang to the right/west when it splits. Ignore Englewood Horse Trail and turn back to the east. You'll come to an intersection with Cedar Trail
, one of the nicest trails in the park, and turn right/south. This is a nice singletrack trail closed to horses that rolls and winds through the forest.
Stay Cedar Trail
until you come to Red Fox Trail
, a "T" intersection. Head left following the sign towards Red Fox Bridge. This is another nice bridge over Tyron Creek. Take the switchbacks up the hill to Old Main Trail
, a very wide forest road type trail. Head right/east towards the main parking lot. You'll arrive at the visitors center fairly quickly.