Trails in the Florence Nature Preserve Trailhead Area

Here is a list of trails in the Florence Nature Preserve Trailhead area. For more information and a map (where available), click the trail name.

Florence Preserve Blue

Moderate, 1.8mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Blaze Color: Blue
As Florence Preserve's longest trail, this one has a variety of character. From Kelly Mountain Road up to the Yellow trailhead connector, this is a narrow, slope-side trail with a couple of creek crossings on log bridges. Some neat trees grow here, and there is a relatively healthy hemlock stand beside some tiny cascades on the creek. From the yellow connector, the trail widens onto an old stream side road bed, with some more healthy and unhealthy hemlocks. From the next Yellow trail on the left up to the White trail, it's more twisty and narrow, and passes through an area devastated by Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. There are lots of dead rhododendron, as well. (Avoid this section until the hemlocks stop falling). North of the White trail intersection it levels out, pulls away from the creek, and widens again. Here it passes through a more open forest, before swinging west back into the creek drainage through another rhododendron grove. Beyond the creek crossing - on a wide, road-sized bridge - the trail passes through a small open area before winding up to Little Pisgah road.

Florence Preserve Orange - Little Pisgah Point

Easy, 0.2mi, Climbs Gently, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Orange
This is the orange trail (one of three) that leads from the Blue Trail out to Little Pisgah Point. It's a gently-sloped old road bed, which passes near an opening in the forest that lets in a lot of light and lets lots of poison ivy grow. Right at the end, a narrower path leads up onto some neat rocks. Completely under the forest canopy, there isn't much of a view from here, even when the leaves are off. It's still a neat spot, though.

Florence Preserve Orange Overlook

Moderate, 0.1mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Orange
Not to be confused with the other orange trails in the preserve, this a short, narrow side path to the unnamed overlook off the Red trail. This is the best overlook in the Preserve, in my opinion, with some good views to the west up the gorge. Some neat oak trees grow near the end of the trail at the small rock outcrop. Use caution - there are some drop-offs up here.

Florence Preserve Orange West

Moderate, 0.5mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Orange
A ridgetop and side-hill trail which mostly parallels Little Pisgah Road, in the preserve's northwest section.

Florence Preserve Red

More Difficult, 1.1mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough

Blaze Color: Red
Climbs steeply from Kelly Hill Road, up to the top of the ridge. Parts of this segment are heavily eroded. Beyond the Orange overlook connector, this levels out - it's an old road bed - and there are some sections with lots of poison ivy to watch out for. The poison ivy thins out closer to the white trail, and as the trail continues up to a clearing and the intersection with the Blue trail, you'll encounter it sporadically. The forest is thoroughly mixed and dry the entire way. Recommend hiking downhill between the White trail and Kelly Hill Rd.

Florence Preserve White

Easy, 0.3mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Blaze Color: White
Follows an old road bed along most of its length, with a gentle grade compared to other trails in the area. Two creek crossings.

Florence Preserve Yellow

Moderate, 0.25mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Yellow
This is one of 3 yellow trails in Florence Nature Preserve, which (taken together and using connectors) traverse the area from southeast to northwest. This is an old road bed - steep and narrow at times as it leaves the Blue Trail - which climbs all the way up to the White trail. There are some neat forest scenes along the way, and it's a dry trail.

Florence Preserve Yellow North

Moderate, 0.25mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Yellow
A dead-end trail, on an old road bed. Ends near the western most creek in the preserve.

Florence Preserve Yellow Trailhead Connector

Moderate, 0.75mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles

Blaze Color: Yellow
Climbs, steeply at first, from the new trailhead on US 74-A (the old chimney) to the Blue Trail near the main stream. Passes near some very steep areas near the beginning; use caution, especially if you have kids (the trail itself is quite safe). After leveling out some, the trail passes near an old barn (keep away - it's falling down), through lush woods and over a couple of small wet-weather seeps. Near the high point, it runs into some sick hemlock forest and rhododendron groves, before descending slightly to reach a creekside area at 0.7 mile. 0.5mi beyond, it swings across the creek on stepping stones before ending at the blue trail.

Related Pages

Florence Preserve