This is the most rugged trail in the park. Although it is onl 0.7 miles (1.1 km), the access requires that you climb down 145 steps to the river bottom. You will have to wade the creek several times, be careful because the rocks are slippery and will move under your feet. On a hot day, is the time to do this trail.
Trail #3 is one of the more rugged trails in the park. The other rugged trail is #10 and it follows along the lower portion of McCormick's Creek. This trail makes a loop of 8/10th of a mile from the Inn, down to the creek, following it upstream to the waterfalls. There is a parking lot at the falls, so you can begin and end you trek there is you choose.
A half mile trail over rolling hills. The trail passes through the forest with an occasional gully to pass down and back up through. It begins and ends at the entrance to the family cabin area. The sun shines through the leaves creating a dappling affect of light and shade along the trail. Birds are most commonly found at dawn and dusk.
Two old bridges (one standing, the other just the abutments) can be seen in this area. The first is a through truss for vehicles that has been replaced by a modern concrete and girder bridge. There is parking on the old road at the south approach (turn right before crossing the new bridge). The second is located on the White River, north of Stinesville.
1. St Rte 46 east to County Line Road (Mt Olive Church on the corner), turn north. Follow this road to the new bridge crossing the White River.
2. St Rte 46 east to Stinesville Road, turn north to Stinesville. In Stinesville, take RailRoad Street (next to the park and the old track bed) north. At the 'Y' take the right fork onto the gravel and continue north. The old railbed will be on your left. The roads name in now 'Moon Road'. Take it until you pass Wampler Road (on the right). You'll see the White River across a meadow and the abutments to the old railroad trestle.
NOTE: The Texas Ridge Road, which joins County Line at the 1st bridge is Railroad Street in Stinesville and links with Moon Road the the "Y" mentioned above.
Stinesville, is an unremarkable town, but it is a great example of the small rural communities that still dot the landscape, even in the east where the large cities make all the news.
Directions: State Route 46, east of McCormick's Creek SP to Stinesville Road. Turn north (left if coming from the park). Follow the road past 2 quarries until you come to Stinesville. A park with a monument are to the left as you enter town.
I've always heard that the Pileated Woodpecker was a rare bird. Until I visited McCormicks Creek SP I've never seen one. If they're rare, then this is the place that they're not. On our first visit, a tree had been cut down in the front lawn of the Canyon Inn. This particular Woodpecker came every day to eat the insects that were available in the rotten wood exposed by the sawyers. On our second visit, we walked the Wolf Cave Trail (#5) and heard several woodpeckers, and saw Downy's, Red-headed and several Pileated. It's been a treat to see these large an beautiful birds.
Growing up watching the Woody Woodpecker cartoons, I was surprized how much these birds look like the cartoon character.