Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

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

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November’s Trail Ramble

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!).

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September’s Trail Ramble

The Autumn 2013 issue of Tyler Topics is filled with events and programs taking place at Tyler Arboretum this fall.  With the cooler temperatures and humidity level dropping, I was looking for an outdoor program this past weekend, and I came across this description:

Trail Rambles  —  Join Lois Brooks for comfortably-paced walks on Tyler’s trails that will get you out and moving, while enjoying the dynamic fall season in our woodlands and fields.  Wear shoes suitable for uneven terrain.  September 8 – Visit Tyler’s rare serpentine barren and walk along Dismal Run on this exploration of the Pink Hill and Minshall Trails.

Photos from the 09/08/13 Trail RambleSo on that Sunday afternoon, I laced up my walking shoes and headed out to Tyler for my first ventures on the Pink Hill and Minshall (formerly called Pink and White) trails!  Five of us met Lois in the visitor center and headed out to start our journey out the gate at the Pink Hill trailhead.  The group immediate engaged in a wonderful conversation around national parks and the beautiful landforms and wildlife found on public lands.  As we continued along the trails, Lois pointed out several features about the serpentine barren and explained the meaning of the blazes painted on the trees to help us stay on the correct path (this image is a great summary of the meaning of the different blazes, which is a symbol used on many hiking trails including the Appalachian Trail).

Photos from the 09/08/13 Trail Ramble

Note the blaze on the tree to the left, telling us to continue straight on the Pink Hill Trail (also note that one of our fellow ramblers dressed in pink to match the blaze!)

Photos from the 09/08/13 Trail Ramble

This blaze was a welcomed reminder to take the path to the left

Both sections of the Pink Hill and Minshall Trails were well maintained and well marked – plenty of blazes to keep us on track!  Wooden planks were in place to help us cross the muddy areas and Dismal Run, and the historical ruins we passed – well, I’ll leave that to a future post!  Let’s just say that there was much to see and enjoy on this afternoon, from the sites along the trails to the company I was rambling with.  By the end of our time together, Lois had taken us through three miles of the Arboretum (which I’m counting towards my Million Mile Run for Alex’s Lemonade Stand!)

Two additional Trail Rambles will be led by Lois this fall – one on October 6, and the other on November 3.  Both start at 1:15PM and go until 3PM, are free with admission, and do not require preregistration.  If you have been waiting for that perfect opportunity to get out and explore some of Tyler’s trails, I strongly encourage you to come out on these dates to walk along with some fun and friendly outdoor enthusiasts (such as yourself!) and an experienced guide that will point out the sights and sounds along the way.

Photos from the 09/08/13 Trail Ramble

That’s Lois (blue shirt) on the bridge that crosses Dismal Run along the Minshall Trail.