Swamp Trail to North-South Trail to Parkers Creek Loop, American Chestnut Land Trust

Soft, dry trails, with surprising hills given the proximity to a large body of water. Beautifully blazed and maintained with color coded signs, benches, and bridges over wet spots. The raft was a treat! I highly recommend Swamp Trail to North-South Trail to Parkers Creek Loop in the American Chestnut Land Trust. We already booked a vacation there next month so we can finish the rest of the trails.

There are clean portapotties at the trailhead and the midpoint (which is another trailhead).

Total distance: 10.65 mi
Max elevation: 159 ft
Min elevation: 6 ft
Total climbing: 1996 ft
Total descent: -2006 ft
Average speed: 2.71 mi/h
Total time: 05:25:27

Soft, mulchy paths, sometimes with a green understory, sometimes without. The whole trail is like this.

How can I not take the Path Less Traveled?

Feet over one of the many shallow, sandy rivers. This place is probably a miserable mosquito-infested hothouse in the summer, but in March, it was lovely.

Spoiler alert: there’s a raft. That maaaay have been what attracted us to this hike in the first place.

The trail is all rolling hills. In the valleys, it’s swampy, but the trail maintenance is fantastic. There are sturdy wooden paths and bridges through all the wet spots.

No understory here, just pencils to the sky.

The selling point of this trail, to an outsider unfamiliar with its glute-killing hills and cuddly surface, is the tethered raft. It drifts on steel cables between the banks of a river. You pull it over to you, hop aboard, and pull yourself to the other side. Work gloves are recommended, but we barehanded it and lived to tell the tale.

The trail marking is fantastic. Trees are blazed frequently, and every trail has a color which appears on signs at every potential turn.

This tree has a person-sized hidey hole. Many selfies are undoubtedly taken in it by people more willing to scramble down the steeper-than-it-looks bank and back up.

I’m pretty sure these stairs, miles from a trailhead, meet residential building code.

Next time.

Caught Lady Gagaing on a raised walkway.

I want your trails, I want your walkways
I wish you’d teach the DNR how to blaze
Roma, Roma-ma
Gaga, Ooh la-la
I want your hiking trails

Apologies to Lady Gaga


Distance10.6 miles
Elevation Gain1250 feet
Moving Time4 hours, 39 minutes
Total Time5 hours, 25 minutes
Average Pace30 minutes per mile / 2.3 mph
Water Consumed1.5 liters
Food Beforeoatmeal
Food Duringburrito
1 Clif bar


PackCamelBak Aventura hydration pack
NavigationPhone 6 with AllTrails Pro
ShoesHoka One One Speedgoat 4 Gore Tex trailing running shoes
Used Poles?No
ClothesSocks: Injinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew Toesocks
Gaiters: Generic nylon waterproof gaiters
Shirt: short sleeve wicking tee
Shirt: long sleeve wicking tee
Bottom: lightweight loose running pants
Jacket: Medium weight fleece hoodie



See my current gear, clothing, and thoughts about it on the Hiking Gear page.