Long Branch Farm Perimeter Loop
ElevationAscent: 205' 62 m
Descent: -204' -62 m
High: 811' 247 m
Low: 726' 221 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
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“A pleasant 4-mile hike on well maintained trails.”— Rich Muskopf
Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
The easiest place to start is from the Firefly Trail behind the kiosk near the big white barn. You'll follow this grassy path to an intersection. Going left keeps you on the Firefly Trail, but to remain on the perimeter trail, you should turn right. This path is briefly shared by the Salamander Trail and Barred Owl Trail, until the Barred Owl Trail cuts to the right. For this overview, we will go straight and follow the Salamander Trail.
The trail becomes gravel until you reach the wood-platform creek overlook, which has a nice view in the winter. The trail veers left and becomes dirt singletrack, which you'll follow down into the creek valley. You'll cross the creek four times before climbing out. Once at the top, you'll again intersect with the Firefly Trail; go right.
Follow the Firefly Trail until you reach the gravel road, and hang right to follow the road. You'll only be on the road briefly before turning left onto the Woodpecker Trail. This trail is the longest at Long Branch, and follows along a prairie for a while before turning into the woods for the remainder. This is a nice, buff path with occasional bridge crossings and stepping stones. At its other end, you'll be dumped back onto the Firefly Trail.
Swing right to enter the Barred Owl Trail. You'll take this trail down to the gravel driveway. At this point, you'll leave the Barred Owl Trail to go right on the driveway and cross the concrete bridge to the Blue Stem Trail on the left. The Blue Stem Trail is a grass-trail loop around a prairie; take it either direction before returning to the driveway. Cross the concrete bridge again, then go right to rejoin the Barred Owl Trail. This section can get mushy after a rain.
Follow the Barred Owl Trail up the hill, where it meets up with the Salamander Trail, before quickly branching back off to the left. After this stretch, you'll rejoin the combined Salamander Trail and Barred Owl Trail from which you started your hike. Turn left back onto the Firefly Trail to the trailhead behind the barn, and you're done.
History & Background
Land Manager: Cincinnati Nature Center