Around 97 acres of pure nature lies right in the heart of Fayetteville, with a seemingly unlimited amount of trials to explore.
The largest mountain in Fayetteville, Mount Sequoyah is a hard landmark to miss. Much less easy to spot, however, is Mt. Sequoyah Woods, a secluded span of nature between Happy Hollow Road and Skyline Drive. Nestled between streets and housing developments, the trails of Mount Sequoyah offer an incredible “lost in the forest” feel in the middle of the city.
The city of Fayetteville purchased land for Mt. Sequoyah Woods in 2003, and has been working since to develop the trail system. Trailheads are accessible from Williams Drive at the northwest corner of the property and from Paddock Road and Happy Hollow Road at the southeast corner of the property, according to the city’s website.
The type of hike you are looking for will determine which trailhead to use. Those wanting for a more leisurely hike, or who have young children, are better suited for the Happy Hollow Road entrance. A nicely paved path leads up to the beautiful Underwood-Lindsey Pavilion, complete with a large wooden table and benches to break for lunch. To the left of the pavilion lies the start of the Mesic Slope Loop Trail. Hikers can stay on the loop for a shorter hike, or head further up Mount Sequoyah on the Overlook Trail or Bench Crossing Trail.
If you are looking for a little bit more of a workout, or a nice trail run, the Williams Drive entrance is where you should start. Heading down the mountain, the first loop you will run into is the Dry Slope Loop. One fun (though at times overwhelming) aspect of these trails is the unlimited number of routes you can take. There are countless spur trails, many of which are unmarked. The map on the city website, while helpful, is also outdated when it comes to many of these spur trails. The great thing, as I learned today from experience, is that it is more or less impossible to get lost. These spur trails always lead back to the main outer loop, which eventually leads back up the mountain to the trailhead.
While adventuring on the spur trails is an exciting way to explore the area, an equally beautiful path is to simply stick to the outer loop. To do this, stay left when you come to the Dry Sloop Trail, which eventually will turn into the Overlook Trail. With the leaves down, the Overlook Trail offers a great view of Fayetteville. When you come to a fork in the trail stay right, and you can extend the hike by going left on the Mesic Slope Loop or continuing straight to the Bench Crossing Trail. Here the trail will turn right and there will be several steep elevation changes as you head back up the mountain. The trail will curve right and change names once more, becoming the Old Railroad Trail, before bringing you back to where you started.
Unlike other trails in the city limits, such as Lake Fayetteville, Mount Sequoyah rarely sees a lot of foot traffic. It acts as a little oasis in the backyards of Fayetteville, and every Fayettevillian has the right (and privilege) to take a morning or afternoon off from the hectic week and go explore it.