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Walk and learn on the Old Forest Loop

New trail markerAs we wrap up fundraising for our latest ioby-assisted project (new crosswalks at Poplar and Tucker), we’re excited to announce the completion of last year’s work: new trail markers and interpretive content for the Old Forest State Natural Area.

Markers for the main Old Forest trail, which loops through the southern section of the forest, were originally placed by Park Friends several decades ago. The late Don Richardson created an interpretive trail map that corresponded with the markers (click here to check it out). Because that map was no longer publicly available, and the wooden markers had begun to break down, we decided it was time for a refresh.

Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to install 35 new trail markers on the Old Forest Loop trail. We updated the name of the trail slightly to reflect the fact that following the trail markers in numerical order will take you back to the beginning of the trail. We hope that referring to the trail as a loop, combined with placing markers alongside every “decision point” on the trail, will make park visitors feel confident that they won’t get lost when they enter the forest. There are many unauthorized spur trails in this southern section, and thus many opportunities to get turned around. (We’ll confess: we initially placed the markers incorrectly when trying to walk the trail in reverse–that’s how confusing this section can be without help!)

These new markers come with a bonus: each number corresponds to a point on a new map which contains text and photos relevant to that location. We incorporated some of Don Richardson’s well-researched content, as well as new material to reflect how the forest has changed over the last few decades. You can use it at your desk or in the field.