This is one of our favorite secret passages – leading to wide open prairies, horse stables, age old craggly Osage Orange trees, a charming waterside historic hovel, a windmill, bumpy and forgotten woods, and an endless boardwalk. This epic trail unfolds like a riveting saga!
Here’s the long and short of it…. There’s a 1/2-mile out-and-back trail from the historic mill along the boardwalk to the horses and back. Or you can double that by adding sweet little woods, big-sky prairies, a windmill and an oft-fantastic sunset spot and turning it into a loop.
THE SHORT OF IT:
For the shorter out-and-back adventure, park at the Bridgepoint bridge parking area and head away from the mill, watching for a marked, narrow paved path to your right. About 5 minutes in, the boardwalk awaits. It has just been freshly repaired. I can’t walk the hundreds of carefully laid planks without feeling gratitude to those whose labor put them there! All along the boardwalk, crooked, nobly Osage Orange trees form a parade of characters – like a sculpture gallery.
The boardwalk makes a big curve before it ends, giving way to a narrow footpath heading up a small hill. At the top of the hill, two horses are bound to come and greet you – and maybe a fox. Here you can either turnaround – or continue for the loop. Though if you plan to do the whole loop, I suggest you start elsewhere….
THE LONG OF IT:
For the 2-mile loop, I suggest starting at the Summit Road cul-de-sac, where a neighborhood of large new homes meets wide open farmland, about 1.5 hours before sunset. Stepping onto the grass, head left until you spot the trail marker that guides you across the meadow towards the tree line, then head right toward the stable. The two resident horses are bound to come and greet you. Just as you reach their stable, you’ll see the a small path disappear into the hedges. Follow it!
At the bottom of a small slope, the boardwalk snakes between character-filled trees, across the bog, eventually, giving way to a paved path before spilling you into the historic panorama of the Bridgepoint Historic District, including a century-old stone bridge, picturesque Opie’s Grist mill from the 1700s and a waterfall. There’s a picnic bench beside the bridge that offers a perfect view of the whole setting.
To continue the loop, head into the soccer complex via Mill Pond Road (to the right). Turn right to pass the playground and canopied picnic tables heading between two soccer fields until you see the Montgomery Pathways sign tucked into a corner.
Forge into the dense cedar woods here on a sweet undulating path that crosses 2 streams. You’re bound to see white deer tails bobbing away as we did. Within minutes, the path deposits you in an open field divided by a hedgerow. In the distance, you see a rusty old windmill that transports you to Kansas. Follow the hedgerow until you reach the windmill.
On a windy day, you’ll hear the windmill from a far distance, moaning and croaking. Here a dirt road veers right toward Dead Tree Run Rd which brings you straight back to Summit Court. If you start the whole endeavor two hours before sunset, you’re in for a treat as you make your way back to your car. With just enough kismet, the sun will paint the sky and the prairie you crossed over to begin with.
For the shorter out-and-back adventure across the boardwalk: Bridgepoint Parking Spot
For the 2-mile loop: Summit Court Street Parking
AS A WINE….
She’d be a Syrah, from the Rhone Valley or San Luis Obispo, with a sleek, smooth strength in the dark fruit flavors and juicy tannins that settle in for the long haul.