For a relaxing trail run or a day hike with great opportunities for solitude, it's hard to beat the Lower Truck Trail.
What Makes It Great
This double track fire road begins at the southern boundary of Reflection Riding (admission fee required) and winds through 2.5 miles of mature forest to Skyuka Spring. At the spring you can loop back on the Skyuka Trail or, for the more ambitious, head up the mountain on the John Smartt trail. If you're a purist and have come in on foot, your round trip including Reflection Riding will be approximately seven miles.
This is one of the few trails on Lookout Mountain in the National Park that are open to mountain bikes. Hills are moderate and mercifully short. Much of the trail is under the canopy, but this is low country that can be humid and sometimes buggy in the summer. Bring plenty of water.
Who is Going to Love It
Hikers, runners, and mountain bikers looking for a secluded, scenic escape.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
If you are walking in, you can park outside the Reflection Riding gate in the gravel lot near the end of Garden Road. If driving, you'll park at the far end of the loop at Reflection Riding. Look for a pond known as the "siren pool" where the road doubles back on itself, with the Truck Trail continuing ahead past a rustic gazebo. Don't block the gate.
Like all trails in the National Park, this one is intended for use in daylight hours. Hours for Reflection Riding vary with the season and can be quite limited during the winter and holidays. You may want to consider a membership, which will give you dawn to dusk access to the grounds.
Dogs are permitted (on a leash) but they are not allowed in Reflection Riding.