001 - 002 | 0 kmFrom the Eldred King parking lot (001) off Highway 48, head towards the trail entrance and the large map display. Take the trail to the right following the white blazes. In 250 m at a T-intersection, take the side trail to the left and follow the blue blazes. This is the Eldred King Side Trail although it is not marked as such. The trail widens to a gravel trail through the woods and soon becomes very sandy. At waypoint (002) intersection, the Eldred King Side Trail heads to the right.
002 - 003 | 0.93 kmThe trail now becomes narrower as it heads north. Continue to follow the blue blazes of the side trail. Numerous side trails head off to private property gates on the right. Continue straight ahead on the trail which becomes wider alternating between sandy loam and hard packed earth as it passes through an area of relatively young heavily wooded forest with dense undergrowth. At waypoint (003) the trail heads downhill to the left.
003 - 004 | 2.7 kmAt the bottom of the hill is another intersection with the blue trail blazes indicating a turn to the left. (To the right there are a number of posts in the ground blocking off the area.) The trail arrives at a large pond straight ahead but keep left crossing over the bridge. The trail now climbs a slope showing considerable tornado damage due to a storm in the summer of 2006. The trail continues ahead arriving at a large metal fence and a road. This is the intersection of Faulkner Ave and McCowan Rd, or waypoint (004).
004 - 005 | 5.4 kmThe trail makes a U-turn and goes off to the right and continues to follow the blue blazes. Do not take the trail that parallels the road. The sandy path widens to near road size passing through woods with a slightly more mature growth. At a T-intersection the trail goes off to the left -follow the blue blazes. At the top of a long gradual hill the trail turns left and narrows through the woods. At a wide opening T-intersection, the trail heads to the right. Soon a T blaze can be seen on a tree marking the end of the Eldred King Side Trail. This is waypoint (005).
005 - 006 | 5.8 kmThe trail now goes straight ahead keeping right at the intersection. Now follow the white blazes seen on a tree under the ORTA (Oak Ridges Trail Assoc.) sign as the trail becomes doubled and hard packed. At a gravel pile and an open field turn right and continue to follow the white blazes along this main ORTA trail. At the Hall Tract Side Trail (waypoint 006) go straight ahead keeping right to follow the blue blazes of the side trail. (The trail to the left passes through a fence opening -you will return on this trail later.)
006 - 007 | 8.9 kmThe trail descends along sandy trail narrowing considerably at the bottom where it passes through an area of coniferous and deciduous trees. Arriving at an intersection the trail goes off to the left meeting a number of other trails. Take the trail to the left with the blue marker on the tree. At another T-intersection, the trail goes off to the left heading downhill. At a Y-intersection watch for the trail going off to the left with the blue blaze on a pine tree. Soon another blaze indicates the trail goes off to the right at another intersection. Take care at all these intersection to look for the blue blaze markers and follow them. It is very easy to get lost if you are not paying attention. The trail now heads downhill through an open meadow with pine trees on both sides of the trail. At the bottom of the hill stop and watch for the trail markings. The trail goes to the left and circles around the trees beside you and continues along a narrow grassy path. This open meadow is a good lunch spot.
Soon a post in the ground appears with blue blazes indicating a turn to the right uphill. At the top of the hill the trail goes right passing through an area of old pine trees that have lost their needles on the lower branches. The trail continues through an open area and swings left as it meanders through the forest. At a cross intersection the trail heads off to the right along a gradual decent. At another cross intersection continue straight ahead following the blue blazes. At a T-intersection take the trail to the right. Immediately after this at a Y-intersection take the trail to the left and then at a T-intersection go left. After a long climb up a gradual hill at another cross intersection continue straight ahead on what looks like the less travelled trail. At a T-intersection with a berm separating the path from a field ahead keep to the left. At an irregular cross intersection (waypoint 007 ) the Hall Tract Side Trail meets the white blazed main ORTA trail.
007 - 008 | 9.74 kmTurn right along the white blazed main ORTA trail. At a cross intersection turn right to follow the Patterson Tract Side Trail (waypoint 008).
008 - 009 | 11.3 kmShortly the side trail turns left and then left again following along side Aurora Road to turn left at waypoint (009) where the Patterson Tract Side Trail ends and again meets the white blazed main ORTA trail.
009 - 008 | 11.9 kmTurning left the white blazed ORTA trail leads you back to waypoint (008).
008 - 007 | 12.4 kmKeep right at (008) and soon you arrive at waypoint (007).
007 - 006 | 13.9 kmContinue to the right along the main ORTA trail beside a fence line on the right to waypoint (006).
006 - 005 | 14.4 kmContinue to follow the white blazes the short distance to waypoint (005).
005 - 001 | 15.0 kmAt (005) turn right and head uphill and back to the starting point (001).
Enjoy the hike and the day!