Start from the far side of the parking lot away from the visitor center at PI 5. The first quarter mile is a nice wide, flat trail through shady deciduous woods with a thick blanket of ivy and vine on the forest floor.
Take a right at PI 6 to begin a counterclockwise loop. The trail here shrinks to singletrack and starts to climb a steady grade as it becomes more rooted and rough than the beginning. After the next quarter of a mile (as of 6/8/16) there is a partially fallen tree across the trail which is easily navigated around to the left and then a log across the trail immediately after, which is easy to step over. This is located in the northeast corner of the loop. At the apex of the loop, a building complex can be seen if you look to the right through the trees, but it is easy to ignore.
Aside from one spot where the trail sweeps down and back up again quickly, the loop makes a fairly steady and gentle grade up to the apex and then back down as it meets up once again with the wide trail which then follows the river.
Take a right at P7 here and then, almost immediately, a left at P8. This will follow the riverbank, crossing several small wooden footbridges. This section is scenic, but very narrow and also a bit overgrown on either side with plants (so bare legs are not recommended here). It is worth the views of this quiet section of the river which runs between the main shore and Powers Island (plus another smaller island just to the north). The last part of this section will open up again providing a more pleasant experience before ending at the northwestern corner of the parking lot at PI 4, bringing the total distance to just over 1.5 miles
Shared By: Heather Pruner