An outer loop using the trail system at Stirling Park. A mix of sections using single tack trails and some boardwalk sections, including a raised section over the marsh.
Because this is through marshland, its best to go when there has not been recent rain, the path can get muddy unless its frozen. It is also very buggy in the summer.
Starting at the environmental center parking lot, head either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Spring, fall and winter bring different experiences on the route. The trail goes though woodland, meadows and alongside various wildlife ponds. There are some bird-watching hides and platforms at various points, and a good part of the hike utilizes a raised boardwalk.
For the anti-clockwise route, leave the parking lot via a grassy path on the eastern side and close to Lord Stirling Road. Follow the trail, with a pond on your left and pass an obvious exit from the park on your right. From this point on, you basically want to take every right hand option in the trail until you get back to the parking lot in a circle. You'll have gone around the entire boundary of the park at that point. If you are in any doubt at any point, every intersection has a map so you can't get lost and you can improvise or take short-cuts.
Follow the trail past a bird-watching hide and make two quick right turns to come to an elevated view point that overlooks the marshes. This section can get wet after heavy rain. Its fine if the ground is frozen, and in the dry summer, although its good to bring some bug-spray in June, July and August.
Leave the overlook and keep turning right when you get to the boardwalk. In the winter when the lakes are frozen, the weight of users on the boardwalk makes loud cracking noises in the ice.
A major part of the trail is now on boardwalks above the marshes. There's a brand new section of boardwalk at the northern extent of the trail, replacing a section that was washed out in hurricane Sandy.
The way back to the parking lot mainly follows the Red Trail
. You emerge at the opposite side of the parking lot from where you left.