The 18-mile-long Ankle Express Hiking Trail was constructed in 1978, allowing hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts to go deep into the wooded areas on the east side of Greenleaf Lake. Consisting of one long loop that can be broken down into a north and a south loop , this trail is intended to be taken in a counter-clockwise direction, and is considered intermediate to expert-level.
The trailhead is located at the south end of Greenleaf Lake, just east of SH-10. The trail goes southeast from the trailhead, hugging the shoreline of the lake. You'll cross a suspension bridge, then at the fork in the road, take a left and head to the northwest. Follow the trail, which will take you around the contours of the lake's eastern shoreline. When you're almost to the five-mile marker, you'll see Mary's Cove Campground. Here you have the option to go east on a connector trail to only make the south loop. If you choose to keep going on the entire loop, you will continue north. On this side of the Ankle Express Hiking Trail, the west side of the loop, you'll wander across rocky bluffs and through heavily-wooded areas, but most of the time you will still be able to see the lake.
As you near the north end of Greenleaf Lake, the Ankle Express Hiking Trail does a hairpin turn back to the south. This is the beginning of the east side of the trail's loop. Going further into the woods and away from the lake, this part of the trail will start to meander southeast for about a mile, then will gradually curve back toward the lake. Here the path runs parallel and close to the west side of the loop for about a mile, then it veers off to the southeast again. Soon after, you'll see the connector section of the trail, where you can go back to the west side of the loop. The path continues going south, with a few switchbacks thrown in to accommodate the elevation changes. At about 13.5 miles, the trail again makes a curve back to the east, going even deeper into the woods. Then, with a sharp turn the path goes to the southwest, leading again over the suspension bridge and back to the original trailhead. However, to fully complete the Ankle Express Hiking Trail, you will stay on the path as it leads past the original trailhead, west to SH-10, over the lake and east into Greenleaf State Park, where it will again follow the shoreline of the lake before reaching the second trailhead.