There are so many trails to explore at Freidrich! For this review, I did the Main Loop. This loop is the most popular trail in the park. It runs just over 2 miles, including the entry trail:
To get to the Main Loop, park in the parking lot and head up the concrete stairs and into the park:
After heading up the stairs, you’ll be on a paved asphalt path that will give your legs a taste of what is to come with a bit of uphill. There will be a trail off to the left for the Forest Range trail, but skip that intersection and keep heading up till you get to the ‘T’ intersection with the main loop.
Here are some pictures from late March, when the Mountain Laurel was starting to bloom:
At the ‘T’, if you want an easy hike, go left and go about 100 yards to the Juniper Barrens intersection. Then turn around and come back – everything else out here is a bit tougher. I’ve seen people with strollers that go beyond this point, and they are not having a good time: the rest of the park is offroad, roots, rocks, and hills. If you want an easy walk or have a stroller, head over to Rim Trailhead or the Valero Trailhead.
Freidrich Wilderness Park Main Loop
However, if you want to see the park’s beauty and get in a workout, stay on the Main Loop.
If you go either right or left from the T, you will have a brief flat section, then you’ll need to start climbing. It is about 200 feet vertical as you get to the high point on the South-West corner of the trail.
Near there, you can even get a few views of the city:
This loop makes for a great intermediate-level trail run. It has hills, roots, rocks, and scenery. The flats are great for cruising, and the descents – well, let’s just say be careful on the descents. Loose rocks here have made me leave a few blood offering to the trail gods.