Don't get spooked by the blair-witchy shelters adorning the woods; various schools, day camps, and boy scout troops utilize these woods to practice "survival skills."
The trail begins on the southwest corner of the wild animal exhibit, just beyond the arboretum. It is marked with a small post.
The first junction occurs roughly 0.1 miles into the route; the Conifer Trail branches to the right, the Exercise Trail
to the left. The two trails connect at the south end of the park, enabling runners to make a loop if they're so inclined.
After the junction (veering right to stay on the Conifer Trail), the route meanders up a deceptive grade through tight switchbacks in the pine forest. The route is wide and well maintained, but the grassy footing, switchbacks, and steady uphill climb will slow one's pace surprisingly significantly.
At around 0.3 miles, the route crosses the firebreak (a large, less often mowed section) and a small bridge before wandering into the "newer" plantation. The soft bed of pine needles makes the running through here quite a treat before the trail turns north (left) and gets back into the grassy stuff. It follows a shallow ravine before arriving back at the firebreak, and connecting to the Exercise Trail
A surprisingly poor place for morels in the springtime, come late summer Chantarelles can be found by shroom hunters with a keen eye in the pine duff. Turkey and deer regularly use these trails, especially when the surrounding land fills with hunters in the fall.