The Nature Center has over 2 miles of well-maintained trails that offer a diversity of scenery, plant and animal life. There are 3 main trails on our grounds: the woodland trail, the marsh trail, and the prairie trail.
Most all of our trails have a woodchipped surface and provide limited access for bicycles, wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers. Our prairie path, however, is paved and fully accessible to everyone.
Nicknamed the "Q" Trail because it resembles the letter Q (sort of), this trail winds through a quiet wooded area along The Nature Center. Spring and summer wildflowers and cool shade from maples, ash, mulberry, willow, and cottonwood trees provide interesting scenery. You may even see deer browsing in the woods, or muskrats swimming in the brook.
The longest of the trails, the Marsh Loop Trail, takes you through the wooded area along The Nature Center west of the Q Trail. After emerging from the woods, the trail circles the large wetland, leading up and over a large berm, then across an elevated boardwalk, and back toward the Nature Center building. Wide-open views of the landscape are a treat here. Many spring and summer wildflowers, sedges, and native grasses add beauty to the scenery.
The Nature Center’s Arboretum lies at the northernmost portion of the trail, where you can explore many kinds of trees, or relax in the gazebo or under the shade of a tree. A small woodland savanna area is also accessible from the southwest end of the Marsh Trail. The Marsh Trail also has a "shortcut" that runs directly through the marsh. This trail is covered with water much of the year, and provides a unique opportunity to intimately examine marsh habitat.
The Prairie Trail lies southwest of the Nature Center just out of our back door. It loops around the prairie and returns you to the Nature Center along the wooded edge of Springbrook Creek. A former soybean field, the prairie is being restored today with native plants, including many beautiful and unusual flowers native to our area.