Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

The sabbatical project continues, exploring all that Tyler Arboretum has to offer

November’s Trail Ramble

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November 2013 Trail RambleI had such a great time during the September Trail Ramble (see my blog post about the hike!), that I was excited to participate again in November’s Trail Ramble, led again by our fearless leader Lois Brooks.  The description for this month’s walk follows:

November 3 – The 3.1 mile Painter trail provides a quality hike with two stream crossings and lovely hilltop views of the Arboretum.

At first, I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to participate in this hike, especially when the Summer 2013 issue of Tyler Topics listed the following in the Take A Hike! column:

Painter Trail (most challenging, stream crossings, great views) – This trail is named for the Painter Brothers, who farmed this land.  A favorite of serious hikers and trail runners, this is also a good challenge for intermediate hikers.  This trail affords hilltop views of the Arboretum and Rocky Run, two stream crossings, plentiful wildflowers, and a chance to discover mushroom patches in the woodlands.

But Lois put the minds of myself and the rest of the trekkers to rest.  She explained the layout of the route and told us there were several places where the other trails of Tyler cross the Painter Trail in case we wanted to turn back or explore trails that were not as steep.  She said we weren’t in a race, and we could take as much time as we wanted/needed as we moved along.  This “pep talk” was extremely helpful and started us all off with a positive “can do” attitude!

November 2013 Trail Ramble

Starting out on the Painter Trail

The weather could not have been more perfect for a walk outdoors.  The crisp, fall air and sunny skies made for an enjoyable walk through the colorful leaves on the trees and on the leaves that had fallen to the ground.

November 2013 Trail Ramble

One of the many beautiful sites along the Painter Trail

Lois provided us a valuable warning, that we should be careful hiking this trail in the fall right after a heavy rain, as the water in the streams is higher and the leaves become very slippery.

November 2013 Trail Ramble

One of the two stream crossings we completed during the “ramble”

November 2013 Trail Ramble

Sunlight was able to shine through the spots where the leaves had already fallen off the trees

We did not stay on the Painter (Red) Trail the entire time.  We zigzagged between the Blue, White, and Orange Trails as well – all of which led us back to the gated part of the Arboretum to finish our hike on the Scenic Loop.

November 2013 Trail Ramble

We walked a total of 3.5 miles on this afternoon – and every step was worth the beautiful sites and sounds of fall at Tyler!

I sure hope there is a Trail Ramble for December or January – it would be great to keep walking on Tyler’s trails and to see the Arboretum in the winter season as well!  I guess I’ll just have to see what the next issue of Tyler Topics lists for the winter activities (can’t wait!).

Author: Dr. G

Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science, Penn State Brandywine. Learn more at

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