Near Georgetown Elementary School MAP
You don’t even have to leave town to enjoy some pleasant nature hiking. This 30 acre park behind the Georgetown school is crowded with paths to explore. The nature area has lots to see with its creeks, ponds, meadows, an Indian village, an old mining tunnel, and many different abandoned fruit trees mixed amongst its natural forest vegetation.
Classrooms with logs for seats, are scattered throughout the area for outdoor study. Local volunteers and Growlersburg crews work many hours each year to keep blackberry vines in check and trails cleared of debris and windfall.
Directions: Go to the parking lot at the east end of Harkness St. or on weekends park at Georgetown elementary school. An entrance gate is behind the school near the parking lot and another is near the backside of the Amphitheater.
Trails saturate the area. There are more than enough trails for the size of the park but it would probably take the better part of a day to hike all of them. For a good overview of the area follow the main trail that goes around the entire circumference of the park (This route is about 1 ½ miles). Notice the main creek that bisects the area with trails along both sides. The Indian Village is at the north end of the area next to three ponds and a classroom. The old gold mine is close to the center of the area on the west side of Alder Creek.
Notice the abandoned fruit trees scattered throughout the park? These are remnants of the old orchards of homesteads once in the area. They thrive without care. Do they look as healthy as the fruit trees in your backyard? You can find Pear, Apple, and Cherry trees, and a few Redwoods planted along the creek.
East of the Harkness St. entrance gate, on the “Big Trees” trail, a fire burned in 2004. It now offers an interesting example of how forests adapt to fire. Can you find the burned area and study how it differs from its surrounding unburned areas?
In the center of the nature area along the Cherry Hill Trail is an area dedicated to “native plants” found in the Georgetown area. The most common “non-native” plants here are the Blackberry. These alien intruders provide very protected habitat for small critters such as birds and mice.