Sugar Hill Loop Trail
Elevation: 1454 ft.
This well-maintained hiking and biking trail extends around and over Sugar Hill, the large ridge north of Oxbow Lake Park. The trail climbs steeply to the ridge and then curves back around near the dam at the eastern end of Oxbow lake. The Lower River Trail traverses the banks of the State Scenic Clinch River. This river is home to several species of endangered freshwater mussels. Feel free to observe them from the bank, but please to not touch or disturb them. Sugar Hill Loop Trail traverses dense hardwood forest filled with excitement for the patient observer. The trees hold numerous breeding songbirds including red-eyed vireo, wood thrush, yellow-billed cuckoo, and some warblers as well as fox squirrel. This site offers a variety of unusual trees seldom found in this part of the Appalachians. Many of these trees, including the Kentucky coffee tree, are labeled by interpretive signage. In the few areas where sunlight breaks through the canopy, dragonflies, butterflies and other striking insects can be found. Moister areas within leaf litter and fallen debris hold a variety of salamanders and snakes.
The trailhead for the Sugar Hill Loop Trail is located just west of the Oxbow Lake Loop Trail. Parking is available at the Oxbow Lake Park (shared parking lot) or at the west end of the lake.