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Nature Trail

Easy

Trail

0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer loop
97% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 52' 16 m
Descent: -80' -24 m
High: 835' 254 m
Low: 755' 230 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

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A short loop near the Osborne Nature Center through hardwoods, pine, and riparian habitat.

Kenny Slocum

Features Birding · River/Creek · Wildflowers

Description

The trailhead can be seen at the southeast edge of the parking area, just past the large picnic structure. It heads immediately into the woods on a surface of crushed lime and dirt. At 0.1 miles, just after crossing a bridge, a small connector trail leads users on a shorter route down to the river. Continuing straight along the hillside, the trail passes under a diverse canopy of basswood, hackberry, oak, cedar, and walnut. The undergrowth is exceptionally thick in this area; private property adjacent helps keep deer populations in check, unlike nearby state parks such as Backbone and Pike's Peak. The result is a lush tunnel of vegetation leading runners to a gully near the edge of the property.

At the gully, steps lead down to an long-decommissioned old road. A wide grassy lane remains in its stead, with the Volga River flowing to the right. As you continue on the road, keep an eye up in the canopy. Just past a mowed opening in the forest, on the left, a large active bald eagle's nest sits high in a cottonwood. Past the nest, a prairie appears on the right-hand side of the trail. At dusk in midsummer, this prairie glows with thousands of fireflies - a great spot to stop and gaze.

Soon a gate appears with a chain across it; this is to prevent vehicles, not runners. Proceed around/over the chain and cross the opening. To the left a wood-chip trail heads back up towards the Nature Center, but not before passing through the pioneer village.

Flora & Fauna

Wild turkey frequent the back reaches of Osborne Park. A beautiful patch of trillium can be spotted ~0.3 miles into the trail on the left-hand side in a canopy opening. The lack of deer in this park makes it a unique spot in the area to view wildflowers.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#27252

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#120

in Iowa

#27,252

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38 Since Aug 15, 2016
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