Hiked on October 21, 2012 and the autumn colors were amazing! It is so worth it in mid-October! Backpack a lunch and plan to spend some time chilling out at the overlook rock. The view is amazing and nice breeze. Ask a park ranger where it is on the map before leaving the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center because it's not marked on the map. You can get a map at the visitor center or download one off the internet. I added a photo of it to this review, but it might be hard to view it.
You have two options to get started.
(1) Park your car and leave from the Visitor Center. Cross the road/driveway by the flag pole and turn right on the trail. The trail will fork and Dickey Trail continues to the right; however, we decided to take a left for the longer way around and reconnect to Dickey Trail via the Fire Road/Snead Farm Loop. Never hike past the same place twice because we took a short cut back through the picnic area to our parked car at the visitor center.
Option (2) for a shorter hike, park your car at the picnic area south of the visitor center and pick up the trail .8 miles from the visitor center.
Depending on your personal hiking condition, this is an easy to moderate hike. It does have some of the trail that are steep, but overall even if you're not in good hiking condition, it's not that strenuous. The park ranger estimated hiking both the Dickey Ridge and Snead Farm circuit to be a two hour hike. The group I traveled with took a lot of photography stops so it took us from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm with a 45 minute lunch stop on the overlook rocks.
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