Rice Creek Field Station

RED TRAIL

  • Description: This trail, exhibiting the full range of natural succession, passes through hedgerows and young woodlands, a spruce and pine plantation, skirts Hilton Pond, passes through an open field, crosses a stone fence, and then takes the hiker into a mature hardwood forest community.
  • Distance: 1.5 km [.93 miles]
  • Trail Blaze:  red trail marker  There may still be remnants of the old red triangle blazes.
  • Location: The trail begins just east of the maintenance shed on the north side of the parking area, proceeds north and east, then west for a short distance, returning south to its finish at the herb garden.
  • Features:
    • Full range of succession from mown field to stabilized old-growth hardwood forest
    • Characteristics of an evergreen plantation
      • Norway Spruce established with the field station in the 1960's
    • Contrast in meadow between mown section and natural area
    • Bench at overlook area atop drumlin with sweeping views of meadows below
    • Contrast between second-growth forest and old-growth forest 100 years old
    • Remnants of farm use prior to 1955:
      • Hedgerow
      • Stone fence
      • Woodlot
      • Farm pond
    • Plant and animal life at Hilton Pond, a former farm pond
    • Raised walkway over a seasonal brook through the mature woodland