Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife
Lots of education signage and information for kids, especially the nature center at the trailhead
This is a short but relaxing trail through a deciduous forest. Highlights include a fun creek crossing (careful not to get your shoes wet!) and a wetlands/pond with abundant wildlife (ducks, frogs, birds, etc.)— especially in the summer. There is a short spur by the wetlands that leads to a nicely constructed wildlife observation blind.
Need to Know
No pets are allowed on this trail, but some trails to the north of the nature center allow pets. Restrooms are available at the back of the nature center if it is closed.
There is a very nice nature center and butterfly garden along with an abundance of educational exhibits at the trailhead for children and families. The trail then enters a deciduous forest and travels across relatively flat terrain along Tree Swallow Trail
. The junction of Bent Tree Trail is noted by a fairly steep set of set of wooden steps down to a fast flowing creek. The creek is traversed by stepping stones but can be impassible during high water events. Once south of the creek, the trail ascends another set of wooden steps then continues along a ridge with a nice view of the creek below.
At the southwest corner of the loop, there is a wetlands with a short dirt trail spur (readily marked) to a wooden blind that provides a nice area for wildlife and bird observation. The main trail continues down to the creek with a large bridge crossing. The final brief ascent returns to Tree Swallow Trail
and returns to the parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
Lots of oak, a few elm and other native deciduous trees were visible on our hike. It also appears to be an area rich for birding given the variety of nearby eco systems (forest, prairie, wetlands)
Shared By: Phil Birnie