Green's Bluff Nature Preserve
Green’s Bluff features a long-stemmed lollipop trail that passes through a dense hemlock stand, traverses the base of a fern-encrusted rock outcrop, and skirts the banks of Raccoon Creek. The entrance path runs along an old and sometimes muddy road, following a ridge line with only modest elevation changes, though drop-offs to either side are often pronounced. The trail winds through woods of mostly maple and oak, then angles left at a bench and information sign before descending rather steeply into the creek valley. Hemlock trees grow on the sheltered slopes, protected from direct sunlight; this helps them survive here, far south of their usual range.
On emerging from the hemlock stand, you’ll pass along the base of a rock outcrop. Hay-scented ferns, which smell of new-mown hay and are somewhat sticky to the touch, grow here. Seeps far above drip water onto rocks, ferns, and travelers alike. After leaving the bluff, the trail descends even further through rich woods dotted with fire pink and mayapple, eventually approaching Raccoon Creek and the low ruins of an abandoned mill. At this point, the trail turns left and begins an ascent along another old road, eventually returning to the entrance trail.
TRAIL MAP (Click to enlarge)
I learned in 2021 that there's now a second trail; alas, I haven't had time to explore it, so it isn't shown on the sketch below.