Category Archives: Trails

Burnsville Lake Trails

Thursday, 30 May 2013

We’ve found us a nice spot at the Riffle Run Campground, one of two campgrounds at Burnsville Lake and set up camp. We like to camp during the week even though we have to go to work and our son, Little Tony is still in school. So yesterday, when I arrived at the campsite after work, the guys were taking an afternoon nap. My training schedule called for a no-run day, on which I usually do some cross training. But since we are camping, I decided to forgo my usual weightlifting or resistance training, and go for a hike. Riffle Run has a couple of trails that go into the woods, and I had been wanting to scout them out as possible trail runs anyway.

So I laced up my running shoes and grabbed my iPhone so I could map out and measure the trail for future use. The trails begin at the end of the campground just after the last of the sites. Both of them are easily identifiable with the typical brown state park signs. The first trail was called ?? Trail, and headed off into a very short opening in the trees. Shortly after, it became a 4-wheeler trail running along a creek. It was absolutely beautiful with birds singing everywhere. The only critters I saw were a couple of chipmunks and one box turtle. Most of the trail was shaded by trees as it ran up into the woods. The path itself was mostly dirt, but I did walk on some grassy spots at times too. For the most part, the trail was fairly flat, but after about 1/4 mile, and incline started to become visible. Before I knew it, I was walking up the hillside at a fairly steep incline. This continued for nearly another 1/4 mile until I finally gave up and turned back. It was getting late and I still had another trail to scout out. Here is a picture of the hill where I stopped . . .

Burnsville Lake_1

After I made my way out of that trail, I started down the Riffle Run Trail. This one ran quite a distance across an open field going into the mouth of a hollar. The very beginning of the entire field is kept mowed by the volunteer staff at that maintain the campground. Then the trail is a mowed path winding through the field. The grass on the path cushioned my feet and felt good on my ankles and knees. The grass of the field was almost waste-high, and I could imagine this being the perfect spot for a fawn to bed down in the sunshine undetected by any predator. As a matter of fact, on my way out I did come across a couple of wild turkey who hustled across the trail and then up the hillside through the woods. Here’s a pic of one of the turkey near the opening of the trail . . .

Burnsville Lake_2

Just after the meadow, the trail crossed a creek then started into some wooded terrain. From this point, the trail hadn’t been mowed, so the grass was very high. There was also thick clover, so it made walking a little difficult. I could imagine easily tripping while running. But the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, the scent of honeysuckle filled the air, and the sound of the water running over the rocks in the creek and critters scurrying away was far better than any music on my iPhone. However, the trail ended after about 1/4 mile as even the deer path through the high grass was getting difficult to see. So I turned around and headed back to the campsite.

All in all, from our campsite at the front of the campground, up two separate trails and back to the campsite, I walked 2.5 miles. It was 6:00pm and a warm, sunny evening, so it made for a decent workout. As for running, I will probably give it a try very soon, but unfortunately these trails aren’t really long enough to make an extensive run, although it would be filled with natural beauty and very peaceful. The first trail will make for an excellent hill workout, so I will be more likely to use it over the second trail. There’s possibly more trails at this campground that I haven’t found yet, and need to contact the main office or a park ranger for a map. It will be interesting to see if there is more trails available for possible trail runs, and I look forward to scouting them out as well.

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