Trails: Umbrella Tree and Big Oak Trails
Hike Location: Reedy
and Nature Preserve Creek
Geographic Location: east side of
Length: 1.9 miles
Difficulty: 3/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Last Hiked: August 2014
Overview: A rolling loop through nice forest with lots of boulders.
Park Information: https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/StewardshipServices/NatureCenters/Pages/Reedy.aspx
Google Map: http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=336135
Directions to the trailhead: On the east side of
take I-485 to Rocky River Road
(exit 36). Exit and go west on Rocky
Drive Rocky River Rd. 2.7 miles to the signed park entrance on the
left. Turn left to enter the park, and
follow signs along the main park road for the . Be careful driving over the speed bumps on
the park road: they may be higher than you think. Park in the large blacktop parking lot for
Center . Nature Center
The hike: For my general comments on
and Nature Preserve, see my hike to Robinson Rockhouse, also located at this site. This hike combines two different trails to
explore the southern section of the nature preserve. This route does not pass any historical sites
such as Robinson Rockhouse, but it does offer a quiet rolling nature hike
through some nice forest. Reedy
|Umbrella Tree Trail trailhead|
At 0.1 miles, you reach a small prairie that is surrounded by woods. Prairies used to cover large portions of the southeast, but only small pockets such as this one remain today. Near the other side of the prairie, you need to angle right where an unmarked connector trail heads left toward Dragonfly Pond.
Now back in the woods, the trail descends moderately to reach a junction with the South Fork Trail, which exits to the left. Continue straight to remain on the Umbrella Tree Trail as it crosses a small unnamed creek on a nice wooden bridge. The Umbrella Tree Trail gets its name from the wide, waxy leaves of the magnolia tree, though I saw very few magnolia trees on this trail.
|Stairs out of ravine|
|Starting the Big Oak Trail|
At 0.9 miles, you reach the big oak for which this trail is named. Typical of the scenery here, washing machine-sized boulders surround the tree’s base. 1.3 miles into the hike, the trail curves right to join an old dirt road. The noise of cars buzzing along
filters through the trees from the left.
|Big oak tree|