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Butler Road Natural Area

Butler Road Natural Area

Though this preserve feels sweet and discrete, it’s actually quite large. The tight, snaking purple trail is jam packed with lovely vignettes, mini pastures, creeks and cedar passageways and it’s not until you reach the final loop that the scale shifts, opening up to broad woodland.

The red, yellow and purple trails ultimately cast off into 3 disconnected land parcels from the over-lookable little parking lot on Butler Road. I can only speak to the 1.5-mile purple one (so far). Cutting through a jungle of vines, trees and wild flowers, the trail presents its first highlight quite early on: a riveting fork that offers the option to cross the stream via stone steps and stepping stones or braving a natural bridge formed by 3 fallen trees. We could have stayed here for hours – but we couldn’t keep adventure waiting…

The paths rejoin right after the crossing and lead to the broader Ten Mile Run stream with a nice big beach made up of thousands of flat skipping rocks. From here, more snaking and tunneling through cedars to a 3-way intersection representing the loop. The back portion of the loop unexpectedly opens to a broad, hilly forest with Ten Mile Run nestled in its valley.

Bicycles are permitted and, with the exception of the stream crossing and a steepish hill in the loop, it was a pretty easy ride for my primary schooler.

TRAIL MAP

DIRECTIONS

AS A WINE….

A little closed on the approach, but a focused, crisp profile of fresh herbs, honeysuckle and red raspberries crescendos into juicy sour cherries, pepper and cedar on the finish in this Rose d’Anjou.