On the east side of the day use area at Three Rivers State Park, the Dry Creek Trail is primarily a short interpretive loop through upland forest.
Short, however, doesn’t mean easy. It has a surprising amount of elevation gain that requires you to scramble up some very steep slopes.
While its 0.8 mile circuit stands on its own as a pleasant nature trail, the Dry Creek Trail also provides access to the Eagle Trail, a longer day hiking loop.
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Length: 0.8 mile loop and round-trip
Trailhead: 30.7390, -84.9167
Address: 7908 Three Rivers Park Rd, Sneads FL 32460
Fees: $3 per vehicle
Restroom: At the day use area
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open daily 8 AM to sunset. Leashed dogs welcome. While the day use area has accessibility, the nature trails are natural surface footpaths.
The park is immediately west of the line between the Eastern and Central Time Zones, so keep that in mind if you’re coming from the Tallahassee area.
From the junction of US 90 and SR 71 in Marianna, north of Interstate 10, drive east along US 90 for 15.6 miles to Sneads. From the east, approach Sneads via US 90 west from Chattahoochee or by SR 286 north from Interstate 10 to US 90.
Follow River Rd north from US 90. The park entrance is on the right after 2 miles. Follow the main entrance road straight ahead where it splits. After the steep downhill to the day use area, parking at the east end of the parking area by the trailhead kiosk for the Dry Creek Trail.
At the day use area, facing Lake Seminole, walk through the picnic area to the east until you reach the kiosk at the far end of the clearing under the pines.
Your hike starts here. Pick up an interpretive guide to follow along with the numbered stops along the footpath.
Marked with green arrows, the trail is relatively easy to follow along its beaten path along these steep hills.
The hills slope down into Lake Seminole, which is really a reservoir where the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers merge and are held behind the Woodruff Dam.
After Hurricane Michael, it’s doubtful that the ancient pines and magnolias you see in our pictures are still standing.
But the slope forest has a way of coming back over time, with grapevine and beautyberry early colonizers.
The landscape is undulating, with with tributaries forming deep rifts in the hillside as they flow towards the lake.
The footpath drops down along Dry Creek, which true to its name, is often dry. During a rain, it will rage and erode.
After climbing up a slope, you cross the creek on the first bridge, reaching Marker #3.
Climbing past exposed limestone at Marker #4 on a little ridge, the trail drops to creek level and crosses it on a second bridge.
A side trail heads to the group camp at a quarter mile. As the trail continues to climb, it ascends out of the creek basin and into the pine flatwoods.
Passing a bench, you come to another trail junction at 0.4 mile. Here’s where the green markers end and orange markers take over to connect to the Eagle Trail.
Either continue on to hike the Eagle Trail (2.3 miles total for the hike) or turn and follow the slow, steep downhill back towards the lake.
As the trail descends back into the Dry Creek basin, you can look down into Dry Creek on the right.
Just beyond Marker #6 is a Southern magnolia that has tangled itself around another tree. Grapevines encircle its base like giant hoops.
Cross a bridge over Dry Creek before climbing up a rocky ridge where American beautyberry thrives.
Both the day use picnic area and Lake Seminole are visible as the trail flattens out.
When you reach the kiosk, a sign points out the Lakeview Trail on the west side of the day use area.
Follow the orange markers through the picnic area to connect to its trailhead.
Learn more about Three Rivers State Park
See our photos from the Dry Creek Trail
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
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