Lose yourself in nature on new hiking trails

On the cusp of autumn’s changing colors, this is the perfect time to explore new hiking trails at Germantown MetroPark.

The additional mileage snakes through landscapes that change with the seasons.

Prairie grasses rippling in the wind, shimmering golden leaves and colorful darting dragonflies are among the sights along the way.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

“The trail weaves in and out of little fingers of woods and pocket meadows — I love it,” said Chris Landis, Germantown MetroPark manager.

Five Rivers MetroParks has constructed a two-mile purple trail loop and a 0.7-mile brown loop trail. A 2.3-mile addition has extended the existing orange trail and made it the longest in the park.

Hikers can experience the region’s biodiversity as they pass through a pollinator prairie, woodlands and a newly constructed wetlands area.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Germantown MetroPark is ranked as an important birding area by the Audubon Society, Landis said. It’s a stopover for migratory birds and the addition of the wetlands is luring rarely seen species like marsh wrens and grasshopper sparrows into the park.

The trail also rambles through a 63-acre prairie planted in 2015 with seeds from the MetroPark’s prairie seed nursery.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

“It winds you to the very back and you get to a point where you see no human structures,” Landis said. “You feel like you’re in the middle of nature without any human interference.”

The new trails are on wide natural surfaces and a good introduction for beginning hikers. The more experienced will enjoy trekking for nearly 10 miles on the extended orange loop.


What: New hiking trails at Germantown MetroPark

Where: The trails can be accessed from the Twin Valley Trail parking lot, 6206 Boomershine Road. The Twin Valley Welcome Center, with restrooms, is located at 6910 Boomershine Rd.

Hours: April 1 – Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 1 – March 31, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More info: Website

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