The trail climbs a short grade and then follows a slight incline for 0.75 miles and then a second slope to the ridge. After reaching the ridge, the trail meanders through an old meadow before descending about 200 feet to the Welcome Gate vicinity. The trail passes through mature timber stands, early succession forest, and old fields. The trail tread is a mixture of shaded abandoned lanes, singletrack trail, and mowed meadows.
Approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead, the trail intersects with the Cairns Trail. A second option for exploring would be to turn onto the Cairns Trail at that point, which would end near the cottage area. This would increase the total distance to four miles.
Glimpses of the park and lake can be seen through the wooded surroundings, particularly in the fall, winter, and early spring when there are no leaves. Along the ridge, the meadow is an excellent location for wildlife observation. In the summer, the tall grasses and wildflowers along the trail in this area are excellent habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife. Throughout the trail, you may see turkey, deer, squirrels and various other small mammals and birds.
Of particular interest on the Hevener's Orchard Trail are the dry stone walls and stacked stone features (cairns) located along the trail. About three miles from this trailhead is a site with prominent features, including two stacked stone walls and numerous other stacks of stones ranging from near the size of a compact car to only a few stones. Over 200 stone features have been discovered throughout the park. The origin and purpose of the stone structures is not known, but they remain significant relics to be admired and respected.
Shared By: Chris Sappey