Starting from the McAlpine Creek Park parking lot, this 2.6 mile loop links together the McAlpine Creek Greenway
and a portion of the cross country course for an easy hike with plenty of opportunities to either shorten or extend the route. Know that McAlpine Creek Park does get busy (especially given the renown of the 5K course), but McAlpine Creek Park is large and has a substantial network of trails, and the McAlpine Creek Greenway
is wide enough to accommodate many trail users.
Park at the McAlpine Creek Park parking lot where there is abundant parking and restrooms. Head towards the park and greenway, then follow the McAlpine Creek Greenway
north. The greenway is 2.8 miles point to point, and runs southwest from Sardis Road to East Independence Boulevard. At East Independence Boulevard, the McAlpine Creek Greenway
connects to the Campbell Creek Greenway
For this route, follow the McAlpine Creek Greenway
for about 0.6 miles until the greenway turns left to go to the East Independence Boulevard underpass and the cross country course continues forward before promptly making a 180 degree turn to head into McAlpine Creek Park. From this point on, you'll be following the outer loop of the cross country course which should be well marked (in both kilometers and miles) and easy to follow.
The McAlpine Creek Cross Country: Outer Loop
winds back through the trees for about 0.6 miles where it emerges from the forest to pass between the ponds. This is a great spot to look for birds and to watch people go fishing. After the ponds, the course heads back into the trees for another half mile. From the trees, the course follows the edge of a field, then again passes by one of the ponds. Shortly after the pond, the trail will connect back with the McAlpine Creek Greenway
. Turn right on the greenway briefly, then turn left onto the parking lot connector to head back to where you started.
If you want to go for a shorter hike, there are multiple trail crisscrossing McAlpine Creek Park and connecting to the greenway—mix and match these to short-cut this route. And if you want to go for a longer hike, continue northeast on the Campbell Creek Greenway
, go farther southwest on the McAlpine Creek Greenway
, or do more of the cross country course.
Because the park is partially wooded and there are the two park ponds, you're likely to encounter a variety of birds.