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.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Spring — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: Easy trail. Sometimes the museum has nature classes for children.
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.
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.