Wandering a few trails around Manhattan

It seems like it is increasingly easy for me to find myself at the end of the day without having moved as much as I should be…hard to deny the brutal honesty of a pedometer that says you are woefully short of steps. To fight back some at the inertia of the office, this fall my wife and I decided to load up our dog and look for some new trails to get out and explore. There are lots of ways to get some extra exercise in, but we wanted to get outside and do some walking. We both like being outside and there are too many benefits from nature to miss out on. Since I normally have my camera with me when we go for walks, I thought I would share some photos and info on some of the trails we have wandered along the past few months. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of trails around Manhattan (and “around Manhattan” is used loosely). This is just some of the places we wandered around this fall.

River Trail - Through the Trees
River Trail – Through the Trees

(click on photo in this post to enlarge)

One trail we started exploring at the end of October is the River Trail that runs along the bank of the Big Blue River just outside of Manhattan. You can access this trail at the Blue River Trailhead for Linear Trail on highway 24. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit after living in the area for many years, this is the first time I’ve been on this trail. So far we have only explore about a third of the trail…I don’t make it very far on this trail when I have my camera, there are just too many things I want to stop and photograph.

Morning - River Trail
Morning – River Trail

It has been fun visiting this trail at different times of day to catch the light coming through the trees at various points along the trail. The photo above was made on a morning trip. As the sun came up, it would shine through the trees along portions of the trail…perfect for creating some star burst effects.

Cedar Ridge Trail
Cedar Ridge Trail

Another trail that we have just started walking on this fall is the Cedar Ridge Trail at Tuttle Creek Lake. This trail is located near the marina in the Cedar Ridge State Park. This is a short trail, only about a half mile, but the trail has some interesting features including the wooden bridge shown above. Evening light coming through the trees produced some beautiful conditions on the trail late in the day.

Path - Cedar Ridge Trail
Path – Cedar Ridge Trail

The trail winds around the side of a hill and stays in the trees for the most part. Lots of interesting lines to photograph on this trail. I’m curious what photo ops could be found on this trail in the snow. There are benches placed around the trail and it would be a peaceful place to sit and ponder things (time spent pondering is never wasted). The benches could also make for some interesting photos.

Eagle Pass Trail
Eagle Pass Trail

Another trail at Tuttle Creek Lake that we spent some time on semi-regularly is Eagle Pass Trail. This trail runs through the trees along part of the shoreline of the River Ponds area (one way, it is not a loop). This fall I made a couple of trips out to this trail to try and make some photos of the large leaves that were scattered along the trail.

Sunset - Eagle Pass Trail
Sunset – Eagle Pass Trail

The sunset photo above was made on Eagle Pass trail the day of the first snow this winter. It was just a light dusting of snow, but it gathered on the trail highlighting it. Good conditions for making a photo emphasizing the trail.

Fancy Creek Trail
Fancy Creek Trail

A little farther away from Manhattan at Tuttle Creek Lake is the trail at the Fancy Creek State Park. I’ve walked this trail a few days several years ago, but only recently have been back when my wife and I visited a few times this fall. The trail stays in the trees and has some unique terrain to explore.

Woods - Fancy Creek Trail
Woods – Fancy Creek Trail

The day I made the photo above was a windy day but down in the trees it was still and calm. At one point along the trail the trees were swaying with the wind and making creaking noises. It seemed a bit like the trees were talking to us. We both really liked this trail and will be back a lot in the future I’m sure.

Washington Marlatt Memorial Park
Washington Marlatt Memorial Park

This last photo is from the trail at the Washington Marlatt Memorial Park on the edge of Manhattan. I made a few visits here this fall at different times. Unlike the previous trails in this post, trails at this park pass through prairie for the most part. This fall the grasses here were exceptionally beautiful.

The weather and being sick has derailed us lately, but we are both looking forward to getting back out on the trails as soon as possible.

Some information on trails around Manhattan can be found here and here and some information on a few trails at Tuttle Creek Lake can be found here.

If you would like to see more of related photos from paths and trails, please visit my “Trails and Roads” gallery on my website. And if you would like to be informed of new blog posts, print sales, show announcements, etc. please sign up for my email list.

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