“A collection of pleasant nature trails at the natural history museum.”
— Juno Ogle
Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Easy trail. Sometimes the museum has nature classes for children.
Open sunrise to sunset.
A nice and easy collection of trails that wanders over 22 acres adjacent to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. The trails are pretty easy, but there are a few slight grades and roots in the mix.
With so many closely-set trails, there are many ways to navigate the area. One option is to follow the Prairie Crossing Trail
from the gazebo to Cottonwood Cove Loop, where a thick grove of trees shrouds the trail. From there, follow the Chetolah Trail
as it parallels Chetolah Creek through trees and shrubs.
Take a quick jaunt over the simple and flat Oxbow Loop
. There are a few benches, constructed as an Eagle Scout project, that make a nice relaxing setting. Oxbow Loop
nicely exits onto Monument Meadow Trail
which briefly winds through fields of native grasses and flowers.
Turn right on Prairie Crossing Trail
and then a right onto the Cactus Ridge Trail
. You'll find plenty of prickly pear cactus here and nice views of the nearby trails. Turn left on Chetolah Trail
toward the Amphitheater Trail
for a quick diversion that ends just a little ways from where the hike started.
Flora & Fauna
There are lots of native wildflowers that bloom, especially in the spring. Sunflowers are abundant in late summer and early fall. As far as animals; you'll see mostly turtles, frogs, and maybe a baby snake.