Trails

There are many short trails at Muscatatuck and a hiker may experience longer walks on old farm lanes and abandoned roads.The most visited trail is the Chestnut Ridge Trail adjacent to the Visitor Center. Chestnut Ridge is a wonderful stroll at all times of the year that features an accessible ridge-top loop with a boardwalk that descends into a seep-spring wetland.Other designated trails include Hunt/Richart,Turkey and Bird,and Wood Duck. Refuge trails are generally easy but are often wet in the spring.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Other Walking Paths

Old roads and farm lanes can provide pleasant hiking experiences. One interesting walk is to walk from the Endicott Observation Deck parking area, west on the old gravel road (E. County Road 500 N.) past the deck. The old road, which is closed to vehicles and grassy, takes you past Mutton Creek and Mini Marsh to an old farm lane on the left that eventually connects to the West Entrance Road (E. County Road 400 N.). The lane may be muddy in spots, but is a pleasant, moderately-easy walk past old house sites, reverting farm fields and beautiful woodlands. The old lane goes up two short hills. If you follow the lane all the way to the West Entrance Road, you will travel a little under two miles.

For a shorter hike, drive to the south end of County Line Road and parking near the closed gate. If you walk past the gate, you can follow an old county road straight south to the Muscatatuck River. This is about a 0.75 mile walk, one way and is easy with a gravel surface. Please note that this trail is for hikers only, but it is often very wet given that you it goes through bottomland forest in the river floodplain. The river is narrow with high muddy banks in this area and is full of log jams. While the river almost dries up in the summer months, after heavy rains it can rise quickly and flood in a short time, spreading water over much of this end of the refuge.

Wood Duck Trail

Wood Duck trail circles through a mature beech woods and contains some very large old oaks that once grew in a housesite yard.  The habitat a wet flatwoods so the trail tends to be damp most of the year.
Trail Length (mi)
0.59
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
20 Minutes
Route Type
Lollipop
Trail Activities
Biking
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Hunt-Richart Trail

The Hunt-Richart Trail is a short grass-covered loop that goes down a small slope to the Hackman Overlook Structure on Richart Lake.  From the overlook the trail winds back through old farmland and passes through a beech woods before returning to the parking lot. 
Trail Length (mi)
0.88
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Fishing
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Sandhill Ponds Trail

The southern leg of the Sandhill Ponds trail is an accessible concrete sidewalk leading to the edge of the larger Sandhill Pond. The northern leg of the trail is a mowed-grass path leading to the edge of the smaller Sandhill Pond.
Trail Length (mi)
0.29
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
15 Minutes each leg
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Accessible trails
Birding
Dog walking
Fishing
Photography
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Myers Cabin Trail

This short trail runs from a gravel parking lot on the road east of Myers Cabin south to Myers Barn then up the hill to Myers Cabin where it rejoins the road.
Trail Length (mi)
0.15
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Painting and drawing
Photography
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Persimmon Ponds Trail

This trail is a grassy mowed path used as access to the Persimmon Ponds Fishing area from the parking lot.
Trail Length (mi)
0.32
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
10 Minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Fishing
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Endicott Overlook Trail

This trail is a short gravel/dirt path to the Endicott Observation Deck.
Trail Length (mi)
0.19
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
20 minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Hiking
Hunting
Photography
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Turkey-Bird Trail

Turkey Trail shares a trailhead parking lot with Bird Trail.  Turkey Trail winds through hardforest past several small creeks, a large pond, and along an old farm field reverting to brush.  The trail also follows the edge of a moist soil unit for a time and winds in and out of forested habitat and past old home sites. Bird Trail connects with the north edge of Turkey Trail and circles the edge of a moist soil unit before turning into a pine woods and returning to Turkey Trail.
Trail Length (mi)
1.68
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
45 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Biking
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail

Chestnut Ridge Trail

The Chestnut Ridge Trail is hard-surfaced asphalt and starts and ends at the Visitor Center parking lot.  A small loop off the ridge trail desends down a staircase to a boardwalk over a small seep spring before returning up a hill to the main trail on the ridge.
Trail Length (mi)
0.46
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
15 Minutes
Route Type
Loop
Trail Activities
Biking
Dog walking
Painting and drawing
Photography
Running
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Discovery Pond Trail

The Discovery Pond Trail is a concrete sidewalk that provides access to Discovery Pond.
Trail Length (mi)
0.16
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
10 Minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Birding
Dog walking
Fishing
Painting and drawing
Photography
Wild edible foraging
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
Wheelchair friendly
View Trail

Barkman Trail

The Barkman Trail is a short mowed-grass path to the old Barkman Cemetary.
Trail Length (mi)
0.21
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
20 minutes
Route Type
Out & back
Trail Activities
Cultural heritage
Dog walking
Hiking
Wildlife watching
Suitability
Dog friendly
Kid friendly
View Trail