“This loop combines the varied terrain of several trails to make a great longer hike.
— Russell Hobart
Horton Grove is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
This is a broad tour of the Horton Grove Nature Preserve. You'll be visiting Loblolly pine forest, mixed hardwood forest, and prairie.
Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Start off on the Jordan Trail
by heading behind the old barn and looking for the empty information booth. The trail here is relatively faint but is marked by green trail markers. Continue for .7 miles through Loblolly pine and some open terrain, until you find the Walker Trail
. It is well marked with a carved sign.
Turn right onto the Walker Trail
, and go a mile until you find another turn off for the Peaks Loop
. Turn right and continue half a mile to where you cut right toward the parking lot. When you hit the road, continue left for 100' or so until you are in the parking lot, and you can start the Holman Loop
. This goes through the prairie and has lots of educational signs. Go .6 miles on until you hit Hart Trail
and stay right.
Once you complete the .5 miles of Hart Trail
, you'll turn right onto the Justice Loop
. After .8 miles, you'll be back at the gravel road. Turn left and look to your right for the Walker Trail
. In a little over a mile, you'll be back at the intersection for the Jordan Trail
. Go right and you'll be back at the beginning.
The Cliff Notes version: Always turn right when you're at a trail junction. Always turn left when you hit a road and look right for the trail. The trails are all well shaded, and you'll enjoy some great scenery along the way.
Be on the lookout for birds in and around the meadow, including northern bobwhite quail and American woodcock. Pileated woodpeckers can be seen, or more commonly heard, in the mature hardwood forests. Numerous other animals call Horton Grove home, including white-tailed deer, turkey, coyotes, rabbits and according to local rumor, a black panther! Flowers in the meadow bloom throughout the year, while the forests are host to rare species, including American snowbell, black cohosh, and sweet pinesap.