Hiking

The Friends maintain 15 miles of trails throughout Salt Springs Park and the adjoining Friends' land. Trail descriptions are provided below the Trail Map.

Helpful hint: When using a trail map

  1. Fold it to display only the area of interest
  2. Orient the map to the landscape by turning it to match the trail and horizon in your walking direction, for example:
    • If you are moving North, the map will be "right side up"
    • If you are moving South, the map will be "upside down"
  3. Move your thumb along the trail from point to point as you walk along
View of Campsite 7, across the lawn from Cabin 3, on the bank of Silver Creek.

Map last updated January 14, 2021

Trails

Descriptions last updated March 25, 2022

Fall Brook Trail

0.8 Mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

Access this trail from the end of Hemlock Trail above the waterfalls. It follows Fall Brook south across Buckley Road, joining and then leaving Bunny Trail until it ends at another intersection with Bunny Trail.

Hemlock Trail

0.4 Mile, more difficult hiking, white blazes

Access this trail at the northeast end of the picnic area, past the salt spring. Follow right and climb steeply up the hill into the old-growth hemlock forest. Just past the intersection with Woodland Trail, Hemlock Trail becomes a raised boardwalk. It follows the east rim of the gorge past Penny Rock to where a right spur leads to an observation platform overlooking the falls. Use extreme caution near cliffs and steep drop-offs. The trail continues, passing Overlook Trail and eventually ending at Fall Brook Trail.

Woodland Trail

0.2 Mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

Reached from Hemlock Trail, this trail circles around the east side of the old-growth stand. Explore an Eastern hemlock almost 300 years old that has fallen across the path. The trail ends at Hardwood Trail.

Hardwood Trail

0.5 Mile, more difficult hiking, yellow blazes

Access this trail at the northeast end of the picnic area, past the salt spring. After ascending the moderate slope along the edge of the hill, the trail swings south and climbs through mixed hardwoods before leveling out and turning west to intersect Overlook Trail.

Upland Trail

0.5 Mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This trail extends the loop of Hardwood Trail, climbing steadily up the mountain through mixed hardwoods, before circling back down.

Gorge Trail

0.4 Mile, more difficult hiking, blue blazes

The trail runs south from the Wheaton House. After a steep but short ascent, it levels out and parallels the gorge. It goes through remnants of an old flagstone quarry and along a meadow's edge before returning to the woods and ending at Buckley Road. To avoid the steep ascent, an alternative starting point is located a short distance up Salt Springs Road. See next entry.

Gorge Trail Spur

0.2 Mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

This trail allows hikers to avoid the steep ascent at the start of the Gorge Trail. It begins on Salt Springs Road just west of the Wheaton House and heads southwest up a moderate hill to the edge of a meadow. There it turns east and runs along the edge of a grassy swale until entering the woods and ending at the Gorge Trail.

North Creek Trail

0.6 Mile, easiest hiking, red blazes

The trail begins behind the Williams Pavilion, crosses Silver Creek (no bridge), and runs west through meadows and wild apple trees along the meandering creek, which creates scenic views. On the north side of the creek, the trail is marked with metal posts. After re-crossing Silver Creek (no bridge), it joins Silver Creek Trail and Border Trail.

Silver Creek Trail

1 Mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This trail is accessed from behind the barn or from Meadow Trail, near where it meets Border Trail Spur. From the barn access point, it follows the creek, climbing gradually through mixed hardwoods, then continues up a steep climb before joining Meadow Trail. Two old stone walls along the trail provide interesting rest stops.

Border Trail

1.9 Miles, more difficult hiking, blue blazes

Because of its elevation changes, this is a challenging hike. From the north, it is accessed from the West Meadow. Together with Silver Creek Trail, it runs parallel to a ridge while overlooking Silver Creek. It splits from Silver Creek Trail, proceeds up a steep climb through the western part of the park, and crosses Buckley Road, goes up another steep climb, and then descends to Salt Springs Road.

Meadow Trail

 1 Mile, easiest hiking, yellow blazes

Accessed from either Buckley Road or Silver Creek Trail, this largely flat trail passes by old foundations, meadows, stone walls, and an interesting shale outcropping. Picnicking is encouraged at a mid-point rock formation that resembles chairs and tables.

Bunny Trail

1.5 Miles, more difficult hiking, orange blazes

This loop is best accessed from a small parking lot on Buckley Road, east of where Fall Brook crosses the road. The trail ascends gently along Fall Brook to a small clearing that was once a log landing. It then climbs steeply for a short distance and continues through hardwood forest and old fields with some excellent views. It briefly joins and leaves Cliff Trail, passes a delightful spring, and then descends through a forest back to the parking lot.

Friends Trail

1.7 Miles, more difficult hiking, white blazes

The trail starts at Hardwood Trail and heads south out of the forest and through a meadow to Buckley Road. From there it meanders through another meadow before reentering the forest. It eventually heads west to join the Summit Trail near the highest point in the park. It can also be accessed from the Friends Parking Lot on Buckley Road.

Cliff Trail

1.5 Miles, more difficult hiking, blue blazes

This trail starts at the Friends Land Parking Lot and climbs steadily up an old logging road, briefly joins and then leaves Bunny Trail, and heads toward the southwest corner of the property. After joining Summit Trail, it reaches an interesting spring area and Frog Pond. At the pond, the trail turns northeast and follows the contours of the land, descending to where it ends at Bunny Trail. All along this section are boulders and cliffs worth exploring for ferns and wildflowers.

Summit Trail

1 Mile, more difficult hiking, red blazes

This loop starts with a short climb of about 0.3 mile from Frog Pond to the highest point on the Friends of Salt Springs' property. The summit is a relatively flat area, with large, widely spaced trees. Here the trail turns north to intersect Cliff Trail. It then turns southwest, along with Cliff Trail, returning to Frog Pond.

Spruce Trail

0.4 Mile, easiest hiking, white blazes

This trail begins on Border Trail at the far western edge of the park, south of where Border Trail crosses Buckley Road. The trail follows an easy grade through a magnificent grove of towering spruce trees planted during a reforestation project. It ends at Border Trail just north of Salt Springs Road. The trail can also be accessed fron Salt Springs Road or via the Spruce Trail Spur (see map) on Buckley Road.

Wetland Trail

0.6 Mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

This trail starts just west of the Buckley Road bridge and traverses the wetlands on the northwest bank of Fall Brook. Signs of beaver activity and wetland plants and shrubs can be seen along this trail. It ends at Salt Springs Road, just after passing an old homestead foundation.

Overlook Trail

0.6 Mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes

Designed specifically for ADA accessibility, this short, wide trail begins at the parking lot on the north side of Buckley Road. The trail winds through light and dense forest on level land and connects to Hemlock Trail near the falls observation platform.

Updated December 15, 2022