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greenBlue Prairie Oaks Loop

  3.6 ( 5 ) Favorite


5.1 mile 8.3 kilometer loop


Ascent: 110' 34 m
Descent: -110' -34 m
High: 908' 277 m
Low: 866' 264 m


Avg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 8% (4°)


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Trail shared by Nick Kiger


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A fun, easy 5-mile hike though Prairie Oaks Metro Park with views of the river and some stream crossings.

Nick Kiger

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This hike will take you from gravel to grass to dirt singletrack all in the same hike. This is a perfect hike to experience all of these different types of terrain. There are a few simple climbs, but overall, it is a pretty easy hike. There is a good mix of hiking through canopy and through the open prairie.


You start this hike at the Prairie View picnic area and take the Darby Creek Greenway Trail towards the Coneflower Trail. You'll swing onto the Coneflower Trail where there will be a majority grass trail. This part of the hike can be muddy and wet after a rain, with some of the trail flooded.

This trail crosses the Bridle Trail several times, but it is clearly marked so you'll have no trouble staying on the right trail. Towards the end, you'll come to a point where you take the Bridle Trail out of this loop back to the Greenway Trail where you'll cross a bridge and immediately find the Alder Trail to the right. Take this connector to the Sycamore Plains Trail and take the first right.

At this loop, you'll find singletrack and a few stream crossings. You'll come to a point where the trail splits. Head right to follow the sign to parking. This will take you up a short hill to some open prairie hiking. Follow this trail, keeping left until you come to the parking lot. Here, you'll stay left and continue to complete the loop taking you back to the Alder Trail where you'll retrace the beginning of your hike to take you back to Prairie View.

Flora & Fauna

Turtles, snakes, whitetail deer.


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Aug 12, 2018
Anthony Rozmus
Jan 28, 2018
Tyler Lyon
Jan 28, 2018
Matt Stephens-Rich
Great hike! A bit wet and muddy by the river, so be sure to wear those boots! 5mi
Nov 24, 2017
Beth Black
Muddy especially near Big Darby Creek, quiet with little traffic on trails 5mi — 2h 00m
Nov 24, 2017
Victor Black
A little muddy, especially where the trail shares with the horse trail. 5.1mi
Oct 7, 2017
Tyler Lyon
Great hike with the kids! Trails were in good shape and we found a beautiful spot by the creek for lunch!

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 5 votes


  3.6 from 5 votes
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