Scenic overlook over Grayson Lake
Sheer sandstone canyons and gentle slopes comprise the 1,512 acres of Grayson Lake State Park. This site was a favorite camping area for Shawnee and Cherokee Native American. The hiking trails offer several species of ferns, mosses, and lichens, the flowering rhododendron, "lizard head rock," and the unusual combination of beech-hemlock trees. The .8-mile Beech-Hemlock Forest Trail is an opportunity to discover and appreciate the distinctive plants, rock formations, and wildlife of the park. The trail begins near the theater area, and circles the campground near the shoreline of the lake. Of particular interest on the trail are the several species of ferns, mosses, and lichens, the flowering rhododendron, "lizard head rock," and the unusual combination of beech-hemlock trees. This 3-mile loop trail leads to a pretty seasonal waterfall near the western boundary of the park. The best time to see the waterfall is in the winter or spring. It is usually dry during the summer months. This is a moderately strenuous trail. A minimum of 2 hours should be allowed to hike it. Much of the trail follows along the top of a cliff line along the lake. Hikers should be aware of the tall cliffs and stay on the trail, which is several feet away from the edge. Hikers will see very scenic vistas of the lake along this section. Much of the remainder of the trail follows an abandoned roadbed through the forest where hikers may encounter deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and other wildlife.
Length: 2.7 miles
Location: 38.206827, -83.02271