“A loop hike featuring the Gateway Trail, Preparation Loop, and Wilderness Loop.”
— Talia Chaffee
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The trail is easy enough for kids of all ages to hike.
This route is great for people of all ages and fitness levels. It's almost entirely shaded which makes it perfect for hot summer days.
Need to Know
I embarked on this trail with my two young daughters (5 years and 19 months). I had to carry the 19 month old partway. The terrain is not suitable for strollers. There are some spots where you might need to cross a small section of creek/mud. There are a couple small sections of moderately steep hill and exposed tree roots (where smaller children may need to be carried). The trails are not well-marked so be careful to not accidentally wander onto the North Loop
, especially if you're in a time crunch or have kids in tow.
This is a nice peaceful route which can be quite busy on the weekends. Along the gently rolling paths, there's lots of greenery to admire as the route is almost entirely shaded. The route has some water features like a view of the river, a winding creek, and some low-lying marshy areas.
The park features a series of loops, and this route takes you around three of the most mild ones. You'll start on the appropriately named Gateway Trail
, and then will continue on to the Preparation Loop
. By this time you should be feeling "prepped" to take on the Wilderness Loop
. Once you've finished up the Wilderness Loop
, you'll make your way back to the parking area. Keep an eye out or use the Hiking Project mobile app
, because trails are not well marked.