“A wide trail through the south unit forest and prairie of Motor Mill.”
— Kenny Slocum
Birding · Fall Colors · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This trail begins about 0.1 miles southwest of the parking area on the south end of the bridge. A large gate marks the entrance.
At its start, the trail climbs at a moderate grade steadily for roughly half a mile, through timber on a wide grassy lane.
At the top of the hill, the forest gives way to prairie for a long loop through some of Clayton County's most beautiful public land. At the peak of summer, this prairie is alive with the buzzing of insects and explosions of color that characterized so much of this region before European settlement.
The trail follows a firebreak along the wood's edge for a little less than half a mile before turning and climbing again. At about one mile in, a small pond on the right is a haven for amphibians including salamanders whose offspring populate the edges in early summer.
The climb continues past the pond, and around another curve before eventually topping out at the south end of the prairie. The view from the top of this hill is absolutely spectacular in all seasons, with waving prairie grasses as the foreground for a backdrop of verdant woodlands and bucolic farmlands and pastures.
A steep hill leads back to the main lane through the woods, ending at the same large gate from the beginning.
Flora & Fauna
This prairie is home to a small population of Pasque Flower, a native resident of drier sites that blooms often before the snow has completely melted.
The pond holds no fish, making it a prime location to listen for amphibians summer's evenings as the sun goes down.