Indian Woods & Thompson Tract Trail System
For those looking for a shorter “inland” adventure, the Maple Lane Trail provides a scenic stroll through wetland, meadow, plantations and mature deciduous forest. This trail connects the Grand Allée Trail, a historic carriageway that passes beside the old-growth Indian Woods (a 2 km loop). You can park opposite the gate and rare sign on Langdon Drive.
For more information about each trail in this system, please see below.
Important information about all rare trails
Please stay on the trails – rare is home to sensitive vegetation communities, and even if you’re careful the possibility of trampling flora is increased with off-trail use. We would also hate for you to have a negative experience and go home with a poison ivy rash.
Please carry out all garbage – conserving the beauty of this natural space is one of rare’s top missions, please help us keep it beautiful.
Please note there is no camping, campfires, foraging, or hunting anywhere on the reserve.
The use of motorized vehicles are prohibited on all rare trails.
Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you on the trails!
The Grand Allée is an historic carriageway lined with Carolina Poplar trees. The original brick gateway structures remain intact today and can be seen at the trailhead at Whistle Bare Road. From this trailhead, the Grand Allée travels along a hedgerow and enters into the Old Growth Forest remnant with a cathedral-like canopy. Some trees in this forest are more than 200 years old!
Deeper into the Old Growth Forest, the trail crosses Bauman Creek, a coldwater tributary to the Grand River. Brook Trout, an indicator species of good ecosystem health, can be spotted within Bauman Creek because of its cold temperature and high oxygen content.
The Grand Allée veers westward into Maple Lane, another historic carriageway lined with large Sugar Maples. Maple Lane continues into rare’s Butterfly Meadow within the Thompson Tract. The meadow is planted with several butterfly host plants and is a haven for numerous species of butterflies. Maple Lane exits onto Langdon Drive, where a small road shoulder is available for visitor parking.
The Deer Run Trail connects Maple Lane back to the Grand Allee Trail, looping through rare’s Black Walnut plantation. The plantation provides a stark contrast between the structure of a diverse forest ecosystem and that of a planted monoculture (an area planted with only one species). As the name suggests, it is not uncommon to see White Tailed Deer running through this area!