“A narrow trail following Hunters Creek, ending in a climb through the pines.”
— Jon Sundquist
This is a fun and scenic loop accessed from the lower parking lot. It sports some of the drier trails accessible from the lower lot and provides some great views of Hunters Creek.
The trail starts at the lower lot and heads downhill along the same route as the orange trail. Once it crosses the creek on a big bench cut constructed by the IMBA Trail Care Crew in 2004, it splits from the orange trail by heading downhill.
The trail narrows and continues until it abruptly hits the ravine marking Hunters Creek. Here, the trail turns left and follows the ravine for a while.
The trail crosses several tributaries draining north into Hunters Creek, and each crossing presents its own special challenge. There's the one with the downhill leading to a narrow ladder bridge, where you'll need to keep your momentum up nonetheless to make it up the rooty uphill on the other side. There is the one where the trail drops down to the tributary level and then climbs out the other side. There is the one where there is a narrow (8") board that allows you to get across the wet area while staying clean.
But overall, the trail follows a very narrow (typically overgrown) tread that is quite scenic and offers views of Hunters Creek to your right, below.
Once it hits a very large tributary, the trail also approaches the park boundary, so the trail starts a long, somewhat steep uphill climb along this tributary. The trail goes through a scenic spruce forest that isn't too rooty.
Eventually, the trail reaches intersection 47. You can continue on an unmarked trail further uphill, but the purple trail hangs a left and follows a series of up and downs (the bottom of the downs can be quite wet in the spring and early summer) until it makes a downhill turn for real through a nice pine grove, eventually leading back to deciduous forest. The trail follows the contour here heading east until it meets up with itself near the start of the trail.