Introducing Lily Loop, the newest addition of trail at Triangle Land Conservancy’s Williamson Preserve in Wake and Johnston Counties. This multi-use hiking/biking trail adds 2.2 miles, making the total distance of the trail system at Williamson 16.6 miles! Lily Loop users will experience good elevation changes (200+ ft of climbing) and plenty of switchbacks, rock sections, and multiple fantastic dips and turns. The trail is officially open for adventures! Visit www.trianglemtb.com for trail status updates.
Lily Loop is an extension of the Magnolia Run trail, making it the farthest route south in the trail system. Lily Loop has already been named a favorite by some volunteer trail stewards who helped with construction. “The trail has great elevation changes and runs up and down many of the beautiful ravines adding to the already extensive trail system at Williamson,” said Lars Schmidt, a trail steward. He often trains with a local middle school National Interscholastic Cycling Association team at the Preserve.
The trail winds through forests, ravines, uplands and drains into Marks Creek and the Neuse River. These forests and creeks are not only home to new trails but also to many species that need large swaths of unfragmented forest, like box turtles and great horned owls. In the springtime, keep your eyes peeled for the numerous ephemeral wildflowers, such as Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) and atamasco-lily (Zephyranthes atamasca), the trail’s namesake.
Lily Loop can be accessed via Magnolia Run and is considered one of the Preserve’s more advanced trails due to the distance from the trailhead and elevation changes. Like other trails at Williamson, Lily Loop is directional based on the day of the week.
“We are so excited to open this trail to the public in partnership with the Town of Clayton, making Williamson Preserve one of the largest multi-use trail systems in the Triangle with 15.3 miles of single-track trails,” said Umar Muhammad, TLC’s Land Stewardship Associate – East.
The trail was funded by donors to TLC, the NC Recreational Trails Program, and a Johnston County Recreation Grant. The Williamson Preserve trail system is accessible via the Neuse River Greenway or the Preserve parking lot at 4409 Mial Plantation Road. Trails close when wet, so please visit TLC’s website or Triangle MTB for trail status updates.