Separate but connected to the overall trail system at Three Rivers State Park, the Eagle Trail was created using existing forest roads in the uplands.
These roads are not far from the group camp used by Scouting groups, so we’re guessing that the name had something to do with an Eagle Scout project in the past.
Unless you’re staying in the group campsite, access to the 1.5 mile loop of the Eagle Trail is via the 0.8-mile Dry Creek Trail that starts at the day use area.
Both trails have interpretive elements that were once posted at their kiosk but may need updating after the ravages of Hurricane Michael across this landscape.
Similarly, our photos do not reflect what the forest now looks like after the hurricane felled most of the trees, just the shape of the terrain.
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Length: 2.3 miles loop
Trailhead: 30.7346, -84.9176
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. Off-road cyclists are permitted.
Cyclists should access the Eagle Trail via the forest road off the main park road down to the day use 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.
To day hike the Eagle Trail, you need to access it via the Dry Creek Trail. Think of them as a pair of stacked loops. Our mileage includes both.
They are stacked not just as loops but also in three dimensions. Starting from the trailhead kiosk for the Dry Creek Trail, it’s all uphill from here.
Blazed with green arrow markers, the trail is easy to follow. The landscape is undulating, as you find in this part of the world, with tributaries flowing through deep rifts in the hillside.
Climbing up to a bridge, the footpath drops down next to Dry Creek. The trail scrambles up and up and up through a forest with a very open understory.
It then plunges back down to the creek again, crossing a bridge before reaching Marker #3.
Climbing past exposed limestone at Marker #4 on a little ridge, the trail drops to creek level and crosses a second bridge.
A side trail heads to the group camp at a quarter mile. The trail climbs of the creek basin and reaches a trail junction past a bench at 0.4 mile.
This is where the green arrows of the Dry Creek Trail end and orange markers take over to connect to the Eagle Trail.
Past the sign that says “Nature Trail,” follow the orange markers into the clayhills.
The trail leads you on a slow but persistent climb to where you see a kiosk coming up ahead.
Reaching a junction with the forest road to the group camp, it’s at the Eagle Trail kiosk that the Eagle Trail officially starts.
Follow the blue blazes, walking down an old forest road through the pine forest. Look for deer prints in the sand.
We hiked these hills in the fall, so fall wildflowers were abundant: goldenrod, blazing star, and sunflowers. Marker #2 points out upland habitat.
At 0.6 mile, there is a trail junction with the end of the loop. Continue straight ahead and pass an “Eagle Trail” sign. The trail begins descending past a barbed wire fence.
From this viewpoint in the upland pine forest, off in the distance is a large open field and the high point of Grand Ridge to the south.
Reaching a bench at 0.7 mile and the bottom of the hill, the trail flattens out and parallels the farmer’s fence.
The trail runs right up along the fence line, so you can see all the farm activities and old equipment sitting there.
Coming to a wide junction at 0.8 mile with the fence line, the trail turns off to the left, with a marker pointing the way.
Turning away from farm activities around a mile, the trail is a mowed path through tall weedy wildflowers.
Coming to the edge of the forest with a wide break beyond with views of Lake Seminole, the trail drops down a dip.
There is an Eagle Trail sign in front of an old farm gate. Turn left to head back along the loop, still on a forest road through the pine flatwoods.
The trail leads up to another dry creek in the woods, on the left.
An indentation in the grass reveals a trail created by a large gopher tortoise, and its burrow is behind Marker #6.
Rocks are piled into the forest road soon after an unmarked side trail, as the road appears to wash out whenever there are heavy rains.
As you continue along the forest road, you can see for quite a distance ahead. Maples and sassafras begin to appear in the understory.
The blue waters of Lake Seminole glimmer through the trees, right around where a mile marker says “Mile 1.”
It’s confusing until you realize that’s the mileage you’ve walked so far on the Eagle Trail.
Starting uphill, the trail passes a bench at 1.4 miles. Soon after, the trail is above a ravine that drops off on the right at 1.5 miles.
Turning away from the ravine, the Eagle Trail turns and climbs uphill, putting Lake Seminole to your back as it passes Marker #12 and keeps ascending.
This last part of the Eagle Trail is quite a steep climb. It reaches the back of a “One Way” sign that discourages you from taking the trail in the opposite direction.
Reaching this loop junction at 1.8 miles, turn right. By two miles, you return to the kiosk at the start of the Eagle Trail.
Turn right and head back downhill to meet the Dry Creek Trail. As the trail descends back into the Dry Creek basin, you can look down into Dry Creek on the right.
When it rains, it is likely that this whole area floods. It is another deeply carved channel from the ephemeral streams.
Just beyond Marker #6 was a stately Southern magnolia that has tangled itself around another tree. Grapevines encircled its base like giant hoops.
At Marker #14, the trail crosses another bridge over Dry Creek at 2.2 miles. Just past it, the trail climbs up a rocky ridge smothered in beautyberry.
Both the day use picnic area and Lake Seminole are visible as the trail flattens out.
Return to the kiosk after a 0.8 mile hike on the Dry Creek Trail, or a 2.3 mile hike on the Dry Creek and Eagle Trails.
A sign on the kiosk mentions the other nature trail, the Lakeview Trail, on the far side of the picnic area. Orange markers lead to it from this trailhead across the picnic area.
Learn more about Three Rivers State Park
Enjoy views of Lake Seminole from forested slopes on the 2.5 mile loop created by the Lakeview Trail and the Ridge Trail at Three Rivers State Park at Sneads
See our photos from the Eagle Trail
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Chattahoochee Nature Trails system treats hikers to an exploration of botanically-rich habitats along bluffs and ravines near the Apalachicola River and an archaeological site towering over the river’s edge.
Above the Apalachicola River, the community of Chattahoochee hides a natural treasure in its deep ravines—a park named for its native son, botanist Angus Gholson.
Fed by first-magnitude Jackson Blue Spring and nearly a dozen smaller springs, Merritt’s Mill Pond is a waterway unlike any other in Florida, its unusual hues trapped between rocky slopes and edged with moss-draped cypress trees.