Hite Cove was a mining town once boasting a hotel, two saloons and even a small Chinatown. Now there's just the wreck of suspension bridge, some rusting mining equipment and nature taking back over, which is encouraging in its own way.
You park near Savage's Trading post, 22 miles east of Mariposa on Highway 140. Note that since the May 2006 rock slide, access from that direction may be closed for several years and you will have to approach from El Portal. The parking area has portable toilets, but no water unless you want to drink straight from the Merced River.
The hike begins with a very short climb through private property and stays on private property for 3/4 of a mile. The trail rolls up and down, never too steep, and is in that respect good for running. However, if you are there in the spring, it will take great self control to maintain any sort of running pace. It typically takes me somewhere between 1-2 hours to cover the first 3/4 of mile. You just have to stop and look at the flowers that grow in both great numbers and great variety.
Once the trail descends to some interesting whorled rocks on the edge of the South Fork of the Merced River, you have passed the most amazing wildflower displays, but you'll get to some nice meadows again as you approach Hite Cove proper, where you'll also see some languishing mining equipment.