“The second spur off the main trail to explore the woodlands at Motor Mill's South Unit.”
— Kenny Slocum
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring
Equestrians make use of the bridle trail fairly regularly; know the etiquette posted at the trailhead. Equestrians are not allowed on the Woodland Trail.
This side of the park is open to hunting; be sure to wear bright colors during hunting season.
This trail consists of two spurs off the main bridle path through the south unit of Motor Mill. To access this spur trail, follow the Bridle Trail
at a gentle uphill grade until the trees give way to prairie. Follow the firebreak/bridle trail along a particularly stunning prairie until you see another sign marking "no horses." This is the second spur.
A wide trail takes users down into the woods a second time, with a moderate downhill grade leading past rocky outcrops and ancient boulders covered in mosses and lichen. These boulders are a good spot to look for Dutchman's Breeches in the early spring.
Just as soon as the trail gets to the bluff's edge again overlooking the Turkey River, it turns and begins to climb back uphill. A moderate grade becomes steeper as the trail begins to top out, again rejoining the south unit prairie firebreak/bridal trail.
Turn left at this second loop to follow the firebreak/bridal trail back towards the first spur trail. Going past this junction roughly 0.1 miles, another "no horses" sign leads to a trail down a steep hill and out the second trailhead, just a few hundred feet from the first.
Flora & Fauna
This trail takes runners past an exceptional example of prairie habitat, with Pasque flowers spotted on the southeast corner of the prairie in early spring.
The forest is a hotspot for birding, with several bald eagle nests in the vicinity and pileated woodpeckers being a common site. Sandhill cranes have been heard, but not seen, at Motor Mill.