By Gordon Cherr
Lake Overstreet- There are numerous points of entry for the Lake Overstreet trail(s), which are west of Lake Hall and Maclay Garden State Park, but the best is to park at Forest Meadows on north Meridian Road, and CAREFULLY cross Meridian, keeping a wary eye out for traffic approaching rapidly from the north and south. You can also enter through Maclay Gardens State Park off of Thomasville Road.
The main trail is basically a figure-8, the upper loop is roughly 2 miles back to the start, the lower loop is about 3.3 miles and circles pristine Lake Overstreet. Putting them together is a hilly connecting straightaway which makes the entire affair about 5.5 miles. The terrain is rolling with a few good hills thrown in to keep you honest. The trails are heavily shaded, making this a favorite multi-use trail for runners, hikers and mountain bikers. The footing is generally good, but be aware of tree roots, an occasional low, boggy spot and large trees are known to fall across the trail, especially after big storms, so use the normal caution when running out here. Occasionally, someone rides a horse on the trails, so make sure you make a lot of noise if you come up on someone from the rear.
Although not described here, there are several connecting trails, one to Lake Hall and Maclay Gardens, another (dubbed the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” by local mountain goats, giving away their age) which is a single file trail with a lot of roots and logs so be careful), but which runs down into an absolutely awesome ravine area and back up and out, maybe 2 miles total, and another into the HighGrove subdivision.
Parking at Forest Meadows is a breeze, and if you need to use the bathroom, just walk in there like you belong and no one will bother you. The Lake Overstreet trails are the finest example of how fortunate we are to live and run here. Deer are not unusual here, nor are possum or armadillo and more than the occasional pileated woodpecker can be heard. Waive and say “hey” to the other runners! They’ll be there, too.