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Hiking at Maurice K. Goddard State Park

16 miles of trails

The trails pass near the lake, through forests and fields.

Maurice K. Goddard State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles.
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface.
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe.

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route.
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle.
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead.

Falling Run Nature Trail

0.7 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: picnic tables

This self-guided nature trail winds its way through the hemlocks crowding the Falling Run ravine. Look for a small waterfall along Falling Run as well as the remains of a spring house standing at the site of the former George Y. Stright homestead.

Goddard McKeever Hiking Trail

2.84 miles within the park  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This 3.14-mile trail traverses a steep slope along the southern shore of Lake Wilhelm before reach a peak elevation near the Patton Road Crossing and winding downward toward the McKeever Tract of the Clear Creek State Forest. Multiple trailheads between the dam and Irish Ridge Road provide opportunities for shorter (or steeper) pursuits.  

John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Trail Loop

12.0 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  No blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, biking, cross-country skiing recommended, snowmobiling on north shore only
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, picnic tables, benches

This paved, scenic loop follows the shoreline of Lake Wilhelm and can be accessed from boat launches 1, 2, and 4 as well as from the dam, the marina, and the parking area below the park office. 

The north shore, open to biking, hiking, and snowmobiling, passes through a mix of fields, young forest, and mature hardwoods, while the south shore is mainly wooded, and is open to biking, hiking, and cross county skiing.  

Guidelines for a Safe Hike

The following guidelines will help ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience while at the park.

  • Check the weather before you hike -- it is not safe to hike in thunderstorms or when heavy snow is expected
  • Wear sturdy shoes to protect your feet
  • Carry the proper safety equipment like a poncho, first aid kit, and a whistle
  • During hunting season wear fluorescent orange when hiking in areas open to hunting
  • Carry drinking water -- DO NOT drink from streams, springs, or lakes without properly treating the water first
  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance -- Do NOT try to get close to wild animals
  • Stay on the trail -- if you hike off of the trail, you might get lost or cause damage to unique natural resources
  • Let someone know where you are hiking and when you should return
  • Have a general idea of your location at all times in the event of an emergency
  • Give yourself plenty of time for your hike -- plan to be off the trails well before dark
  • Don’t overestimate your abilities -- use a map to select the trail and distance