After our rather lengthy adventure at Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve, I wanted to find something a little easier, a little closer, and definitely a bit shorter. After toying around with a few different ideas, I remembered a trail I pass at least once a week, right here in Lexington, and I bet you do too.
Fourteen Mile Creek Trail. It’s entrance is in the parking lot of the Exxon that sits at the corner of Old Cherokee and North Lake Drive. I googled it, and turns out the trail itself is supposed to be pretty flat and only 3/4 of a mile. We could do that!
One Friday in May, I packed up my three kids (ages 5, 3, and 2), a couple Lunchables and some water (so I could call it a picnic), and we hit the trail. We had a great time exploring all nature has to offer on this easy and scenic hike. If your children enjoy the great outdoors as much as mine, you should definitely plan a trip. But before you go, here’s a list of what we loved — and didn’t love — about the trail.
What I Love About the Trail
It’s Well Maintained
There are trash cans, benches, and even a picnic table along the path. I spied no trash littering the sides. It wasn’t overgrown at all.
The Trail is Flat
That is to say, there are no major hills. There are bumps and turns, but it is easy going for those of us new to hiking. Though some would say it is stroller friendly, I would add the caveat that it is stroller friendly only if your stroller does well over rough terrain, as a good bit of the trail is grassy, even though marked by rubber mats. I’d still prefer to wear any non-walkers rather than navigate a stroller here.
There Are A Lot of Cool Things for Your Kids to Look at Along the Way
It’s called “Fourteen Mile Creek Trail” for a reason. The trail follows a creek, which is fast flowing in some areas. At certain points, there are small bridges that cross the water, but mostly you can see the creek to your left as you go down the trail. On the right, through the trees, you can spy several houses (for some, this trail really is right in their backyard!). We saw butterflies, dragonflies, various birds and bugs . . . and my two youngest loved picking and blowing the dandelions that grew along the trail.
There is a Bathroom
Sort of. The Exxon at the head of the trail obviously boasts a bathroom, which is very convenient on the way to or from the trail. The gas station also has an array of drinks and snacks which is great for moms like me that don’t always embark on these adventures as prepared as their kids would like. Nothing kills a good hike like endless whines of “mommy, I’m thirsty!” and “Do we have any snacks?”
There is Water Safe to Splash In
Further up the trail, the creek widens and slows, and the path opens up into a clearing with a meadow. There is easy access to the creek here (along much of the trail, the creek is not conducive to wading since you’d have to climb down and then back up a bit of a steep slope). We took full advantage of this opportunity, even though we didn’t come prepared for wading (my kids had no qualms about getting their bare feet and clothes wet, but you might want to pack some bathing suits, towels and a change of clothes). We spied tiny fish, an abundance of rocks and sticks, and had a ton of fun in the sandy bottomed creek bed. Most of this area was maybe 6 to 12 inches deep, some spots a bit deeper, but all in all a very safe spot for wading.
What’s Not to Love?
It is Closed on Occasion Without Warning
Because the path follows a waterway, it can be prone to flooding. And if there is a storm, a tree may fall down on the path. When this happens, the path is not passable, and you have to wait for the water to dry and/or someone to remove the tree. Generally though, the parks and services crew seem to do a great job about making it accessible again in a short amount of time. Just know that if you decide to visit, mother nature may not be on your side.