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Trails

 

The Nature Institute Trails

Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary

Hutchinson TrailPink Loop ~ .4 miles  This easy level trail is at the corner of Levis and S. Levis Lane (small parking area for this trail also here) at the Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary, and travels over flat ground for 0.4 miles. A casual stroll will take about 20 minutes and ambles through the prairie restoration.  We encourage you to visit this trail throughout the warm months to watch prairie plants grow, bloom, and set seed. It is the perfect place to view pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.

Olin Nature Preserve (easiest to hardest, map below)

Frog TrailGreen Loop ~ .5 miles  The Frog trail is a beginner level trail with flat terrain. The 0.5 mile trail will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Highlights include a view of the Mississippi River from the Olin skeet range, savanna habitat, and multiple sinkholes. You may see turkeys, hear a frog call from the sinkhole ponds, or see an indigo bunting flitting through the trees.

Fox TrailOrange Loop ~ 1 mile  The Fox Trail is a beginner level trail with flat terrain. This 1.0 mile trail will take approximately 1 hour to complete. Highlights include a view of the Mississippi River from the Olin skeet range, savanna habitat, multiple sinkholes, as well as successional forest habitat. You can take a detour to see a formerly used roosting site of bald eagles. Look for animal tracks along the trail to see what creatures, like deer and raccoons, use Fox Trail.

Rock TrailRed Loop ~ 1.5 miles  The Rock Trail is an intermediate level trail with multiple inclines. This 1.5 mile trail may take up to 2 hours to complete. Highlights include a view of the Mississippi River from the Olin skeet range, savanna habitat, and multiple sinkholes before you meander down to the bottoms. There you will see the Underground Railroad Monument, find a small stream, and see exposed bedrock.   

Beaver Trail – Purple Loop ~2.3 miles The Beaver Trail is an intermediate level trail and may take up to 2.5 hours to complete. The loop will take you directly to Beaver Falls, the largest waterfall on the property, and back to the parking lot. 

Deer Trail – Black Loop ~ 3 miles  The Deer Trail is a difficult level trail with rugged terrain and our longest loop. This 3 mile hike may take up to 3 hours to complete and requires multiple inclines. Highlights include a view of the Mississippi River from the Olin skeet range, savanna habitat, and multiple sinkholes before you meander down to the bottoms. The trail to Beaver Falls is connected to the Deer Loop. You will see varying ecosystems as you hike past hill prairie, savanna, successional forest, mature forest, and restored prairie. This is a difficult hike, requiring climbing over logs and repeated hiking up and down hills on narrow paths.