Lost Cove East Trailhead/Sherwood Day Loop
DISTANCE: 2.6 miles total
TIME: 2-3 hour hike time
The Sherwood Day Loop trail is the newest trail in SCSP, having been built in stages between 2017 and 2019, and fully opened in 2020. This easy, 2-1/2 mile trail takes in some interesting geology, and features two outstanding overlooks. About a half-mile into the hike you’ll come to the first overlook, a commanding view of the upper upper Crow Creek valley and “Tunnel Hill,” where the Cowan Tunnel, one of the first major railroad tunnels in America (still in use today) was carved through the plateau in the 1840s. The white water tower you see is 12.5 miles northwest, in Decherd.
Just past that overlook is the Sherwood Natural Bridge, one of two natural sandstone arch formations in the park, formed by eons of running water that eventually, with the help of wind from the valley below, eroded the stone layers below the arch, leaving a walkable “bridge” above. The trail briefly splits, and hikers can either walk across the top of the “bridge”, or enjoy a view of it (and a great “photo-op”!) from the side.
About a mile into your adventure, on the left, the trail begins to flank a line of interesting sandstone formations as it edges its way out to the end of a long, narrow promontory of the plateau. Another half mile further, the trail rounds the tip of the promontory, and begins working its way through the rock formations on the southern flank.
About 2-1/4 miles in, you’ll come to the second overlook, this one to the south, with a long view of the rapidly widening Crow Creek Valley. In the distance, the railroad can be seen (and heard!) at the bottom of the valley. This is a busy rail line, with several trains each hour.
For the remaining half-mile of the trail, the forests you see are all second-growth, having been logged repeatedly between the 1850s and late 1900s.