New nature trail now open on Markham Hill

Photo: Courtesy, Specialized Real Estate Group

A new nature trail on Markham Hill opens this weekend.

Fayetteville-based development company Specialized Real Estate Group today announced the opening of Markham Hill Loop Trail, part of a network of three miles of nature trails on the property near Pratt Place Inn that will officially open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The 1.6 Markham Hill Loop is a soft surface trail that runs through a 50-acre nature preserve protected and managed through a conservation easement. The trail connects two existing trails – Oak Loop and Pine Loop – that were built as horseback riding trails in the early twentieth century.

From the announcement:

As the name implies, the trail makes a circuit around Markham Hill, passing huge mossy boulders, rock outcroppings and springs. The trail runs between tall trees including a variety of oak, hickory, maple and ash along with traces of century-old logging roads and handbuilt native stone walls and culverts.

The new trail was built by locals Rogue Trails, and was sited on the advice of an independent ecologist, Specialized officials said.

“We used a very light touch to build this trail, aiming to disturb the land as little as possible,” said Phil Penny, founder of Rogue Trails. “There are lots of little surprises along the route that make it a perfect family hike.”

The trails and nature preserve are part of a planned development of new homes and an expansion of Pratt Place Inn that will take place in phases over the next decade, officials said.

The trail is free to enjoy and open to the public, but users are required to register using the form at before heading out.

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