The main goals of trail management within the Natural Areas is to provide access to various parts of the Natural Areas for hiking, nature observation and research, while still protecting the natural characteristics and the natural resources of the areas.

Changing weather patterns, historic rain and flood events, high winds, devastation by the emerald ash borer, and other factors have resulted in greater needs than there are resources available to address them. While priority is placed on keeping the trails logged out and cleared for use, the staff is also making facility repairs, replacing bridges, and addressing some of the drainage needs. Keep in mind that these trails are primarily made with native surfaces, and therefore are muddy for several days following a large rain event. If you choose to hike during muddy conditions, please wear appropriate footwear so you can continue to use the trails, and not trample the surrounding vegetation by going around the mud. If you see large downfall or safety issues needing to be addressed immediately, please contact us at