Wandering through stands of dense hardwoods in the George
Washington and Jefferson National Forest, the Lions Tale Trail is a short but
spectacular treat for the senses. Visually, this half-mile trail is stunning as sunshine
filters through the trees, casting a patchwork of light and vegetation on the
trail. The Lions Tale Trail provides more than just pretty scenery for you and
Fido’s hike – it is an interpretive trail for the visually impaired or for
those wanting to experience nature with all the senses.
You and your dog will love learning about the area’s ecology as you meander from one interpretive station to the next along the wide, natural surface path. Boards built into the pathway provide a textured heads-up to a visually impaired hiker that a sign is a couple more steps ahead. The signs’ have imprinted, high-contrast lettering, as well as Braille, that encourage visitors to especially employ their senses of smell, touch and hearing.
One particularly unique feature of this trail are the “sniff boxes.” These receptacles are positioned on the trail so you can test your snout as you try to identify smells of the forest like birch bark and sassafras.
The trail winds next to Passage Creek where you and your pup
can dip your toes or cast a fishing line as you listen to the babbling waters. As
cool and clear as the water seems, it’s not safe to drink, so bring a water bottle
for you and Fido to stay hydrated.
On this national forest trail, dogs must be leashed. It’s a
good idea to leash your pup anyway as there are black bears, coyotes, skunks,
snakes and foxes living throughout this beautiful habitat. That being said,
it’s unlikely that you will encounter many, if any, of these creatures on the
Lions Tale trail, as it’s popular with hikers. Keep the trail in its pristine condition and tidy up after your pooch.
For a dog-friendly hike in the peaceful woods that will leave your senses feeling refreshed, check out the Lions Tale trail, just 8 miles from US 211 on Crisman Hollow Road.