We couldn’t have hit the Wild Hyacinth Trail at a better time. We hiked it on March 25, but because of the mild winter, it seemed more like mid-April. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere. We counted just over a dozen varieties, and marveled at the contrast between the forest canopy, which is still brown, leafless limbs, and the forest floor, awash in yellows, lavenders, pinks and blues.
The Wild Hyacinth Trail connects the Floyds Fork Basin with the ridgetops above, where the Louisville Loop winds its way through the forests of Turkey Run Park. We parked at the Ben Stout House and followed the trail as it paralleled Turkey Run and climbed toward its source. As with all of the Parklands, the hills are gentle, and the trail offers a continual view of the creek to your right and a view up through the trees to your left where you catch glimpses of first the Louisville Loop and then the Paw Paw Trail. Along the way, the trail crosses at least four tributaries of Turkey Run, where you can enjoy pretty waterfalls when the stream-flow allows.
At 0.6 miles, the trail emerges from the woods to cross the Louisville Loop and continue along a beautiful stretch of Turkey Run, making a loop where, at its top (exactly one mile from the parking lot), it nearly intersects with the Paw Paw, Chinkapin and the Hickory trails. In fact, there’s an unofficial trail that connects these trails, creating a great opportunity for stringing them together for a longer hike.
Pay close attention to Turkey Run as you hike this loop. There are a couple of beautiful small waterfalls and shallow pools containing fish. We had fun stopping and exploring the waterfalls, where the bedrock creek bottom makes a shelf that a person could crawl under and explore.
In the loop section of the trail, the forest floor radiated an electric green combination of grasses and may apple, dotted with wild blue phlox, chickweed, golden ragwort and spring beauty. The beauty of that section of trail was astonishing. After the loop, you begin your hike back to cross the Louisville Loop and continue on to the parking lot. The total distance for this hike is 2 miles.
Get out and enjoy this hike-only trail and enjoy the flowers while you can without having to worry about sharing the trail with cyclists.
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