JACKSONVILLE -- A 2-mile round-trip hike sounds like a walk in the park, but that's not the case at Tunnel Ridge Trail. In the one mile you go out, you go up more than 500 feet in elevation, making it tougher than it appears.
You'll notice plenty of wildlife on the trail. In the two miles, you can see birds, lizards, snakes, deer, insects, and much more. This wildlife makes this trail an attractive location; many other trails lack in this area.
If you're looking for more traditional scenic views, keep going. The views get better as you go higher up. Once you're almost at the top of the trail, you have great panoramic views.
Once you've reached the top of the trail, you will notice a sign giving mileage on some other trails on the same system. If you want to get to the tunnels on the trail, take a left at this point and continue for about a tenth of a mile.
That's where you'll see the tunnel created in 1877 as a way to mine gold more easily. These miners dug up more than $4 million worth of gold in this spot before they shut down operations during the Great Depression.
These tunnels are well worth the hike out, because they're so unique. On a hot summer day, they make a nice spot to relax in shade as well.