It’s been several years since we’ve hiked this trail, so headed over there today for our Sunday hike. If you went looking for this trail, you would probably be looking for it over in the park near where the picnic area, lake, Duck Island, etc. is located. Nope! This trail is definitely off the beaten path. It’s actually located off of a road on the other side of the golf course. See below for directions / map. Also, on the trails, there are some great informative signs about the area.
There are 3 loops on this trail. We started out by taking the trail straight (and bypassing the turn-offs to the right to the first two loops), all the way to the end where you have the Wetland Loop (.35 mile loop). It’s a pretty easy walk to the wetlands. They’ve done a good job making sure that you don’t get your feet wet on your way to the wetlands by putting in bridges, etc. Most of the wetland loop is spent on bridges. There is a little observation deck off to the side of the boardwalk. This is where the creeks actually flows into the cave system. It’s nice back in this area.
If you want a pretty easy walk, it’s time to head back to the car.
As we were on our way back towards the car, the first loop that we took off onto, on the left was Meadow Loop (.65 mile loop). This trail is pretty challenging. You are on the side of a ridge on this loop. I remember years ago that you could actually see some meadow. Over the years, the trees, etc. have grown up and there wasn’t much meadow today.
After finishing Meadow Loop and hitting the main trail back towards the car, you then take off on the left and you’ve got Forest Loop (.75 mile loop). Now, this trail was a workout. It doesn’t start off too bad, but you eventually come to a very steep set of stairs. Be careful and don’t lose your balance going up these stairs. After making it up the stairs, you then have to tackle the switchbacks, etc. to make it to the top of the ridge. After that workout, I was hoping for some better views up on the ridge. It was hard to get photos of the mountains in the background through all of the trees. When you head back down the ridge, it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be going down (because of how strenuous it was coming up).
Here are a few photos from today.
Directions: To reach the trail, head north out of the main park on Fall Creek Road. After you pass through the golf course area, turn left on Cedar Branch Road. Go through the little neighborhood, and then start looking for the gravel parking area on your left. This map should help you out a little.