Begin by walking south from the parking lot. You will pass a white building with picnic tables in front followed by a set of bathrooms before getting to the Visitor's Center. Go left around the Visitor' Center and keep to your left along the edge of the trees. After a short distance (~100yds) you should see the trail head for the Gold Mine Loop.
Blue markers (paint on trees, see pictures) are placed along the Gold Mine Loop portion of the trail to keep you on track.
The beginning of the hike is an ascent. After about 0.65mi you will need to make a right. Keep an eye out for a tree with the blue markers pointing you to the right. IT IS EASY TO PASS THIS TURN, SO KEEP A CAREFUL EYE OUT. If you do not make the correct turn, you will end up on MacArthur Blvd. across the street from houses. In this case back track until you find the turn.
After about another 0.25mi, the trail will bend to the left and you will pass a post signifying the the Overlook Trail. Pass it and continue on the Gold Mine Loop by following the blue trail markers. You will go about another 0.5mi before coming to the Falls Rd spur. To your left you will see the Maryland Mine. Make a right to continue along the Gold Mine Loop. Continue along the trail for about a mile. You will past posts for the Rockwood Spur, Valley Trail, and the Anglers Spur.
The trail will eventually bend to the right. You will cross a small creek and pass the entrance for the Woodland Trail. Continue along the Gold Mine Loop for another 0.25mi until you come to the Lock 16 Spur trail post. At this point we suggest you take this trail to avoid overlap with trail you already hiked. However, the Lock 16 Spur is a bit rocky. If you are uncomfortable with this, continue walking along the same trail. It will eventually lead you back to the Overlook Trail post (mentioned above). Make a left and follow the trail back to the Visitor's Center.
After making the left onto the Lock 16 Spur, continue until it dead ends. Note that you are no longer looking for the blue markers. Make a right at the canal and continue for about 0.25mi until you reach the Stop Gate (on your left). Cross the bridge and walk down the stairs. Continue going the same direction you were going before crossing the bridge. You will come to the Visitor's Center in about 0.6mi.