Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a paved path that is easy to hike or bike on mostly gentle grades. The grade by the elementary school required my children to walk their bikes, but hiking was just fine.
This hike is a nice, family-friendly loop with a lot of different types of terrain. Following a few old railroad beds and traveling along wetlands and Bean Creek, the loop is a really nice place for an afternoon hike or family bike ride.
There are several access points to this loop or trails. The easiest is probably at the corner of Munson Hwy. and M-34. There is a small parking lot with a pavilion on the southwest side of the intersection. I frequently use the parking lot of Lincoln Elementary on Maple Grove Ave., but I would not recommend that location, except in the summer.
Starting at Munson Hwy, follow the paved trail west along the railroad bed. There are many new trees planted that should yield some great shade in a few years. Crossing a new bridge over Garrison Drain, cotinue towards Bean Creek, the last two blocks following the sidewalk.
After crossing Bean Creek, the trail joins another rail bed, this one closely paralleling the creek north until it crosses the creek at Jackson St. The trail continues north, along the wooded grade. There is beautiful color here in the fall and cool shade in the summer.
The trail turns east and rises up into the back of the elementary school, crossing to the front of the parking lot and then crossing Maple Grove Ave. Once across the street, it turns along the high school baseball fields and runs along the north side of a beautiful wetland. I have seen numerous redwing blackbirds and many other birds along this stretch of the trails.
Once past the wetlands, the trail turns south again, along Munson Hwy., through some tall grasses and undeveloped space between small auto parts manufacturers and then crosses M-34, back to the parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
Hardwoods, beech, sycamore and maple. Tall grasses and undeveloped land.
Wetlands, numerous songbirds and some migratory water fowl.
Shared By: Doug Damery
by Shannon Johnston