Spotlight Trail of the Week – Hickman Creek Nature Center

Hickman Creek

Happy New Year – My resolution is to post information on one area trail per week, both to expand on some of the information on the web site and see if we can gather more information or opinions from you about these locations. And maybe this will also help with some of the other typical resolutions people make each year about staying in shape. I hope I can keep my resolution longer than most.

This week’s trail is at Hickman Creek Nature Center. I only found out about the HCNC this year as a part of doing the web site project. I was warned about the gate usually being locked and to park on the side of the gravel drive. I’ll still do that if the gate is open because I’m paranoid about being locked in. I could not find a map or description of the HCNC trail online, so went out to just hike it with my GPS logger. There were (and I assume are) no signs or kiosks to indicate where the trail started nor a map, so I wandered around for awhile. As usually happens, I picked the wrong direction and just headed out straight behind the conference center. The trail actually starts over to the left of the garage. I ended up finding the correct trail, and if you go counterclockwise, it heads down close to Hickman Creek for some nice creek views, then up around several fields on a mowed path except for one section on a road/trail through a section of woods. There are several nice views of the barns and the palisade on Hickman Creek along the way. I got home and found my GPS logger hadn’t found an initial location until I was over halfway through the hike, so I had to go out and do it again.

This time, it surprised me when I went closer down to the creek to the last blaze and happened to look to the left and saw more blazes going up the bank on what didn’t even look like a trail for awhile. It headed steeply to an overlook of Hickman Creek and to the top of a small hill. I followed it around and it eventually follows an old road around the back of the property. Its pretty well marked with blazes. Not as many sweeping vistas, but a more wooded, isolated hike. So, there ended up being two loop trails, one of which no one told me about.

Overall, a nice combo of trails since they are each quite different. A good 2.5 miles if you do both loops. Not much elevation change except where the one trail climbs up above Hickman Creek. I like to combine them with some other trails to get more mileage in, especially something like Jessamine Creek Gorge’s 2.2 miles. You may want to print the map from the web site and take with you since there may be no information or signs on site.

If anyone has any more information on these trails, let me know. I just labeled the inner loop as the Meadow Trail and the outer loop as the Woodland Trail. Not sure what the trail builders/maintenance people at HCSC intended or call these.

-Don Perkins

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