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Wildcat Mountain Natural Area

Solitude along with some settler houses
id_2641473
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  Settler house ruins and solitude make for a great day!

This hike is located right off of I-66, west of Gainesville.

starting the... more »

Tips:  Some general tips
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  • bring bugspray in summer, the retention pond has some bugs
  • lunch in the rock garden area is great, lots of huge rocks to sit on
  • wild turkey viewing so be quiet!
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Points of Interest

1. parking lot

parking lot map and trailhead

2. trail view

trail view before the only ridge climb of the hike

3. the climb of the only ridge

the climb of the only ridge, pretty steep here.

once you get past this, then its easy going, nice and flat past the ridge.

4. trail view of the ridge climb

steep switchbacks, well defined trail

5. intersection marked by stone wall

this intersection is marked by a stone wall.

you can take the small loop by going to the right (counter clockwise)

6. intersection, beware going wrong way

at this intersection, you goto the left (when going counter clockwise in the loop).

going to the right you can extend your hike another 1.5 miles but you must return to this intersection to complete this loop. the trail on the right does not loop.

so go left :)

7. trail view

trail view showing a nice flat trail

8. intersection

going counter clockwise in our loop, keep going to the right trail (straight ahead).

the left trail will simply cut the ruins portion of the hike short, and you wont see them.

9. small retention pond

small retention pond, and man made waterfalls and drainage (some music to your ears!)

beware mosquitos here in the summer time.

10. intact settler house and other ruins

an intact settler house (that you can go inside) and an earlier ruins of another house.

the ruins of the 2nd house include a chimney still standing.

great for exploring!

11. 2nd house, possibly for curing meats

2nd small house with double doors, possibly for curing meats and smoking them.

stream nearby.

12. small stream waterfalls

small stream waterfalls from retention pond

13. trail view

trail view, flat.

14. small slope, intersection

follow the yellow trail markers, continue on a small slope.

15. good lunch spots on rocks

good lunch spots with multiple rock formations

16. grassy trails

grassy trails, lookout for wild turkey!

saw one today.

17. the rock garden

the rock garden, 2nd possible lunch stop