From the parking area, this trail cuts to the southwest, while the Main Loop
trail goes almost due west. There is no signage to delineate the trails in this area so keep half an eye on the map. Several drainage areas cross this trail too, so plan to wear waterproof shoes. The highlight of this route is the aspen meadows that you'll move through within the first mile of the trail.
After about half a mile, the trail intersects with Diamond Lane Connector
where you can either link back up with the main loop and move back toward the water or you can continue on East Alternate for some "high" views of the area. While there is almost no elevation gain/loss in the entire area, this trail will give you the best approximation of a "bird's eye view" in this conservation area.
Once you've crossed the open meadow on the south side of Diamond Lane Connector
, you'll move into a wooded area and up a hill to an open area with scrub brush and basalt rock features. The trail then moves gradually back down the hill and once more reconnects with the Main Loop
This can either be done as an out-and-back or looped in with the Main Loop
to maximize your mileage and views of the area.
Buttercups, grass widows, bald eagles, geese, ducks, woodpeckers, etc.