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…)
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…