Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Spring — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This is one of five trails in the Heritage Park
system. It's mostly on level ground, but there are definitely lots of features for runners and mountain bikers.
Starting in the parking lot by the Stubnitz Environmental Education Center, this trail starts off going east and a little north into a wooded area. The trail is mostly a sandy-loam bed, so your footing is good, and there is very little mud. There is not much in the way of obstacle-clearing of the trail, but that's what makes it interesting. Downed trees are left, but ramps are built up to the trunks to allow trail users to cross them.
As the trail winds through the woods, there are several places that double back on themselves, without following the exact same path. The outbound portion of the trail wanders back through the woods, turns north and then folds back to the west. The trail crosses the road a few times, but does so directly, not really following the road much, so you still feel like you are in the woods.
There are lots of nice trees in the area, including cherry, maple, and beech, with most of the downed trees being ash. These have started to decay, so it makes the hops across them a bit more interesting. Many of the tops of these trunks have been notched to provide more stable footing/grip for trail users.
After the final turn to the west, the trail follows an old rail bed for several hundred meters, ending up at the base of a parking lot a bit up the hill from the trail. As the trail turns around, there is a small brook to cross before it heads back toward the east, crossing several large trees, including one that is probably two feet above the normal trail grade. These larger logs can be crossed, or there is the option to detour around them if you would like. Several leaning trees create a bit of an overhead obstacle, too.
After this big tree, the trail wanders back toward the east, crossing the road a few times and again doubling back on itself to add a bit of distance to the trail. This section of the trail also wanders through the area where the city Christmas lights are displayed in December. Some of the displays are left in the woods over the summer.
A few hundred meters more and the trail joins the Green Trail
, ending up in the parking lot opposite from where it started. The Orange Trail follows much of this path, but generally travels in the opposite direction.
Lots of deer tracks, small mammals, and birds can be seen along the trail. Beech, cherry, and maple trees are the predominate species, with lots of grape vines climbing them and spots of poison ivy as well.