Hiking Trails

The Pine River Nature Center has more than three miles of beautiful hiking trails that explore forest, prairie and wetland habitats.

Finding your way along the trails of the Pine River Nature Center is easy. Trails are clearly marked with signs at each intersection. The 80-acre nature preserve is bound on one side by the Pine River and on the other by the CN railroad line, making it difficult to get lost.


When you visit the nature center's trails, be prepared for the outdoors.

  • Long pants are recommended for all four seasons to keep away insects, brush and poison ivy.
  • Be sure to wear boots during winter and spring. Trails can be very wet in spring from rain and melting snow.
  • During June, July and August, apply mosquito repellant.
  • Always bring a water bottle with you to avoid dehydration.


Overview of trails

Walking on Trail

Begin your hike on North Ridge Trail through a forest of mature white pine. 


Wetland Boardwalk
Discover the 30-foot wetland boardwalk on North Ridge Trail that goes through shrub-swamp and swamp ecosystems.
Wild Impatiens
Wild Impatiens (also known as Orange Jewelweed or Spotted Touch Me Not) bloom in open areas along the boardwalk during mid-summer.
Bridge on Wildflower trail
Bridges on Wildflower Trail go over abandoned channels of the Pine River. 
Ostrich Fern
Look for Ostrich Ferns growing in low areas along the trail. 
Winter TrailsAfter a few inches of snow, the trails are a great place for cross-country skiing. The trails are NOT groomed, but you are welcome to forge your own path or follow another.  Prairie Trail Walk During the summer, explore Prairie View Trail. The three-acre tallgrass prairie restoration area is a wonderful place to see summer wildflowers and observe grasshoppers and butterflies. 
Pine RiverPine River Way follows a half-mile section of the Pine River. During fall, the spectacular red, orange and yellow colors of tree leaves reflect in the river.  Blackeyed Susan Black-eyed Susans and Blue Vervain bloom in summer.