Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blazing of the Cottonwood Trail


Today Jenna and I braved the colder temps here in Spartanburg (30, feels like 25 with N 5mpg wind) and went to the Cottonwood Trail Preserve, which is part of the Spartanburg Area Conservancy.  The Cottonwood trail encompasses a 115 acre urban preserve and trail system.  The trail is just minutes from downtown Spartanburg.  The trail features wetlands, open pasture, animal habitats and many species of trees labeled for the naturist.  The trails are wide which accommodates the other trail blazers and runners you will encounter during this trek.  The trail includes an observation deck and 550 ft. boardwalk.  This trail has been maintained and improved upon by efforts from groups such as the local Boy Scouts who work on projects such as footbridges, bird and bat houses, and benches, allowing 16 boys to achieve their Eagle rank. 



The trail is very well marked, with a large, easy to understand map placed at the entrance to the preserve.  There are a number of benches along the way, which Jenna and I took advantage of to sit down and enjoy our trail mix bars we brought along while sitting just above the stream.  The trail was a fairly muddy today, which gave us a few slips and stumbles along the way, but Jenna loved walking through the mud with her new hiking shoes!  She also had to test out how "water-proof" they were by immersing her feet just a bit in the edge of the stream.

The only downside I found to this trail is that since it is an urban preserve, you can hear a lot of road traffic, and there are homes easily spotted on the other side of the stream.  However there are a number of trails that take you away from the stream giving you a more seclusive walk.  There is a lot of other foot traffic, so you have to keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings and share the trail. By the end of our journey, we logged in 4.57 miles, average speed of 5.15 mph, walking time of 53:13 and a min elevation of 454 ft to max of 650 ft.

Jenna testing her
waterproof shoes.

There is also a well placed recycle/non-recycle disposal bin at the entrance/end of the trail.  It serves as a good reminder to pack out what you bring in, and the trail really was very clean which makes it that much more enjoyable. 

We are looking forward to walking this trail again later in the year when it warms up and the greenery is in bloom!  These outings will be a little less frequent now that my 4th semester of nursing school starts tomorrow (possibly delayed due to snow), however we'll still get out when the opportunity arises! 




View 2011-01-09 11:26 in a larger map
Bat house...I love these things!
Sweet Gum Tree seed pod

Happy to see these at the head of the trail!


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