Fernwood Botanical Gardens

Hey Benders,

Prairie trail at Fernwood

Prairie trail at Fernwood

Last Tues, McK shared her love for Rum Village.  If you are looking for short beautiful hiking spots within a stone’s throw of the Bend, I also strongly recommend Fernwood Botanical Garden.  Fernwood is up in Niles, and is a perfect afternoon outing.  They have a variety of well-tended gardens near the visitor’s center, and several miles of well-marked paths taking you along the bank of the St. Joe River, through tall prairie grass, through really stunning arboretum and many spots in between.

I stopped off at Fernwood for an hour of walking last Wednesday after work.  I started off at the Nature Center and headed down the Wilderness path toward the river, winding my way around the property.  The trails are pretty leaf-covered this time of year, as you might imagine, but it was still easy to find most of them.  And while wandering about I saw many squirrels and chipmunks, and even a rafter of wild turkeys!  (My friend Margaret looked up that term for me…)

Waling the trails at Fernwood

Walking the trails at Fernwood

Fernwood charges $8 for regular adult admission—less for kids, students and botanical club members.  They have a cafe and a gift shop in the main entry, and you can always mosey to downtown Niles or Buchanan for a bite after your trip out there.

Speaking of Niles and Buchanan, we really need to get on posting some of the great stuff up there!


PS: A few more shots from the trails…




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