Westwoods Loop #2

Lake views, rocky ridges, and a rock crevice squeeze!

Big picture

How long is the walk?

This loop is 2 miles. It took my 7 and 9 year old about 1.5 hours, taking our time to explore.

Some notes from my family's experience:

The Guilford Land Trust has lots of great information online about Westwoods, including detailed write-ups for many different recommended loops, HERE.

We did Loop 4 - The White Squeeze. We found the trail to vary a little from the write-up (which is from 2017), so a version with my notes is below.

I read through the trail notes and compared them to the map (HERE) before we went so that I had a mental picture of what the loop looked like.

This hike was a great combo of fun and not too challenging. It has some ups and downs, but nothing huge. The first part is along a rocky ridge that looks over the valley below, so you start off with great views. At about the half way point, you travel through a split rock passage known as "the Squeeze." It is really cool!

We shared a write-up of a different Westwoods loop last week. You can find it HERE. We loved both of these hikes! Last week's was our favorite of the two, but was also more challenging. This one was also lots of fun, and not quite as physically strenuous (and, this one is a mile shorter than last week's).

From the Land Trust website, with my notes in italics:

The loop begins at Entrance #6 located at the end of the Three Corners Road cul-de-sac. Please park your car on the outside of the circle rather than on the grass island. This is a residential neighborhood, you are just parking on the side of the loop at the very end of Three Corners Road.

  1. Look for the Red Triangle symbol on a tree. You’ll be starting off on a long tree-lined driveway (the house is not in view). Towards the end of the driveway the trail veers off to the right as the driveway climbs left. This is the driveway at the end of the loop. You'll see a tree marked with a red triangle about 20 feet down the driveway on the left side.
  2. Take the left fork (Red Triangle) and at the bottom of the hill go left on Orange Circle.
  3. After hiking about 1/3 of a mile, stay straight on the White X trail as the Orange circle turns left. You’ll be on the White X trail for just a short while before meeting up with the White Circle trail. Take some time out and climb up the rock ledge next to the trail. It’s a great place to have a picnic and take in the view of Lost Lake.
  4. Continue right on White Circle.
  5. Right on White Circle as Yellow Square goes Left.
  6. White Circle follows along a ridge with views of the valley below.
  7. Straight on White Circle as White Square goes Left.
  8. Again, Straight on White Circle as White Square goes Left. White Circle begins to climb.
  9. White Circle goes through a squeeze (fissure in rock). Hope you didn’t get stuck! Just after The Squeeze, you CLIMB up a short rocky scramble to keep following white circle. It is on the right just after you exit the squeeze (don't be fooled by the unmarked trail that goes left).
  10. About 1¼ miles into the hike, there are two White Square trails branching left. Take the second White Square trail going left. This is just before the power lines. You’ll descend to the valley and begin the return trip. White Square is not as well marked here as the other trails in Westwoods. Just after you start on White Square, it takes a sharp left, paralleling the ridge you were just on top of. Don't miss the turn! You'll know you are on the right track very shortly, when you come to the rocky overhang (below).
  11. As you follow below the rock ridge you’ll come to an impressive rock overhang. Take some time to explore.
  12. Continue along the White Square, hiking at the bottom of the valley with a stream to your right. This was once an old woods road. White Square continues to be poorly marked in this stretch. Just keep following the trail and do not be fooled by the right turn over the bridge at one point - pass the bridge and keep going straight!
  13. White Square trail ends and White Circle crosses your path. Continue straight on the Red X trail. You have hiked for about 1.75 miles.
  14. You’ll be on the Red X trail for just a short while before meeting up with Red Triangle. Take a right on Red Triangle. Some of these x's are white instead of red! But the ones at the intersection are red. Just keep following the x's.
  15. Keep your eyes open on the left for an interesting cairn underneath a teepee structure built by an unknown for an unknown purpose. The structure has been here for a few years. Look for clues to explain who, what and why. We never saw this! The original write-up is from 2017, so perhaps it is gone now.
  16. Straight on Red Triangle as Orange Circle crosses trail.
  17. Continue to follow Red Triangle out to the Three Corners Road Entrance.