A somewhat unknown spot for nature observation lies on the steep, tree-covered hill that separates the portion of University Ave near the beach volleyball and tennis courts from the A-School. For students looking for a walk through nature or a shortcut from the library to the A-School, this brief trail is ideal.
The path starts at the bottom of the hill at the crosswalk near the parking spaces behind Alderman. The beginning of the path travels parallel to the street and has a very slight slope. During this first part of the walk, you can observe the way nature meets the sidewalk while looking out over the view. The trees are thinner and further apart in the portion between the trail and the sidewalk, so it is easy to watch the people walking and playing tennis and the cars buzzing by below. If you look a little further out, you can even see a clear view of the mountains peeking out over Mem Gym and the libraries.
The trail suddenly gets much steeper as it weaves through various types of large trees, vines, bushes, and the occasional patch of periwinkle flowers. There is a patch of orange clay that has worn away to create a very steep walkway to cut away from the main path and head upwards to the A-School. Tree branches hang over the shortcut and provide more shade.
From here to Carrs Hill Road, the trail remains steep but manageable. The trees are closer together and in the fall or spring when the trees have leaves, this area is mostly protected from the sun. The views of University Ave are limited and you are more surrounded by dense nature that you were in the first part of the trail. At the end of this hill, you emerge onto Carrs Hill Road and can look behind you to see the rows of massive trees framing the view of the mountains and filtering light through to the road. This path serves as a quick but heavy dose of nature in the middle of your daily walk around Grounds from building to building.
View from Carrs Hill Rd
Post by Audrey Hughes