“Another great loop trail in Moraine State Park.”
— Jerimy D
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Lots of areas that hold water and can be especially difficult to navigate after a rain storm. Some areas are full of trip hazards such as fallen trees, roots and small rocks.
This singletrack trail begins with a climb into the forest of Moraine State Park. The trail is full of roots and small rocks in the opening section and several areas can be swampy if it has rained recently.
After the opening wooded section you enter a field. Those familiar with the park will recognize this as the sled riding hill. This is a very difficult section to navigate as there are no blazes here at all to guide you. If you look closely you can see where the path winds across the hillside. If you can't, aim for the bird nesting boxes and keep them just to your right.
Next, you'll come to a road. You'll cross the road and continue along the trees away from the road, keeping the trees to your left. At the crest of the hill, head straight across and you'll see where the path leads down into the trees again.
This section of the trail offers a view of the lake through the trees during the winter and early spring months. Further down, the trail you'll pass some cuts that open up the lake view.
Another road crossing comes up when you get to the Bear Run boat launch area. Signs are present here to keep you on the path. Again, the section after you cross the road is usually muddy.
After that, you'll come upon signs for the Hilltop Trail. Stay straight on the path to continue on the Pleasant Valley Trail.
After another quarter mile or so you'll begin to descend. As you near the bottom, you'll reach a Y intersection. The Y signifies the end of the Pleasant Valley Trail, but it connects with the Sunken Garden Trail at this point. If you go right, you'll be on the Sunken Garden Trail - Long Loop
and have a few more miles added to your journey. Heading left will follow the Sunken Garden Trail back to your vehicle and an open restroom.
*NOTE* The Sunken Garden Trail is a loop trail with only one exit so either direction will have you arriving at the same point.
Following the Sunken Garden Trail - Short Loop will take you past the Rangers Office at the beginning of the park and then down along the lake. After yet another wet section, a bridge across a small stream takes you close to the lake before returning you to the parking lot just before the Pleasant Valley Trail.
Flora & Fauna
All kinds of wildlife, birds and wildflowers.