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Maintained by: The Vernon Greenway Volunteers (VGV) and volunteers from the Hockanum River Linear Park Committee (a subcommittee of Vernon Parks and Recreation).
Parking at the beginning of the trail:
Parking can be found at 2 places...
> From the Dart Hill North Park parking lot (4-6 cars), proceed west on foot along Dart Hill Road until you're just past Skinner Street. Cross Dart Hill Road and look for orange markers in the woods, signifying the start of the primary trail.
> To begin within Dart Hill South Park, enter at the paved road just past Skinner Road. There is a circular parking lot there for 20-30 cars, from which you access the Dart Hill South Park Loop Trail. Cross the bridge, turn left on the stone dust path, and follow it to the orange/blue blazed trail which soon turns left into the woods.
The trail walk:
The primary trail follows closely along the Hockanum River, in woody areas through perhaps half its total length. Parallel to it, however, and proceeding south from Dart Hill South Park, is a stone dust trail which merges into the primary trail at several points ... and which becomes the main trail as you approach Hockanum Bouelvard near the south end of the trail. (The stone dust path is not separately shown on the map below until it becomes the main path.) There are several significant vernal pools near this section of the trail.
Park Loop Trail
From the Dart Hill South parking lot, proceed across the bridge and come to a fork in the path. You can go in either direction from here, with the path following along the periphery of Dart Hill South Park for 0.5 miles.
To intersect the main river trail, turn left (clockwise around the loop). Pass the playground and stone dust path on the right, then shortly pass another stone dust trail that goes right. You will soon intersect the orange/blue blazed access trail that goes left and soon joins the main orange blazed trail.
Proceeding from Dart Hill Road, follow the orange blazes south into Dart Hill South Park property through a woody area and cross a footbridge over a brook that merges ith the Hockanum River. Shortly there is an orange/blue blazed access trail on the right that joins the Park Loop Trail.
> If you go left on the Park stone dust loop trail, bear left at a fork; shortly you can access the incomplete west bank stone dust trail that leaves the park near the southeast corner and which follows the woodline south, with Quail Hollow housing units on the right. After crossing beneath power lines, the trail is a footpath through a field with the treeline on the left, which eventually joins the west bank stone dust trail to Hockanum Boulevard.
> If you instead stay with the blazed main trail, it remains in the wooded area, following the occasionally twisting path of the river. Immediately after crossing a channel on a footbridge, there is a short orange/blue blazed trail to the right that leads to the west bank of the stone dust path. Continuing straight ahead on the orange trail along the river about 0.6 miles from the start, you'll emerge into a field and intersect the west bank stone dust path. Turn left and pass beneath the power lines (right returns to the Park). Immediately, watch for the orange blazed trail that reenters the woods on the left along the river.
The blazed trail continues for another 0.1 miles or so in the woods, and emerges into the field. Turn left and follow the treeline, watching for the orange blazes that shortly reenter the woods on the left. Shortly, the trail leaves the woods and joins the west bank stone dust trail.
At this point, the blazed trail itself ends. Turn left on the stone dust path to Hockanum Boulevard. There are now 2 options to continue south:
a. To contiue on the west bank, cross the Boulevard and continue south on the stone dust path along wooded areas, with wooded areas on your left and a large housing development on your right. Near the end of the development, you'll come to a stone bridge which crosses the river. This is the end of the trail; and the bridge should not be crossed, as it's on private property: from here, you must return as you came.
b. To join the Dart Hill South (East) trail, turn left on the Boulevard, cross the river and shortly watch for the intersection with an orange blazed trail that crosses the Boulevard. Enter the woods on your right (south), descend, and cross a footbridge over a drainage channel. Shortly, the trail forks to the left on higher ground, to eventually reach Naek Road.