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The Byron Shutz Nature Trail

This 3.25-mile nature trail takes visitors to the “wild side” of Powell Gardens. Marked with 24 interpretive signs, the trail winds past lotus- and frog-filled ponds, through woods of Osage orange and honeylocust and into an abandoned field of meadow flowers.

Unique plants along the trail’s prairie ridge include the compass plant with its north-south aligned leaves, rare eared false foxglove, bigroot prickly pear and three species of ladies’ tresses orchids. The trail also is a haven for butterfly and birdwatchers.

The expanded trail was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Marilyn T. and Byron C. Shutz and the Shutz Foundation.

Nature Hikes and Downloadable Nature Guides

Click here to learn about our guided nature hike series and sign up. Or make your own adventure using one of our handy downloadable guides:

Bird Checklist Butterfly Checklist Printable trail guide

What to Know Before You Go

  • Know your capabilities. Review the distance and your fitness level before you start.
  • Make sure to allow enough time to complete the trail before the Gardens close and the gates are locked.
  • Minimize your exposure to insects: tuck your pant legs into your socks, spray insect repellent around your ankles.
  • Learn to recognize poison ivy and avoid contact.
  • Take water with you, especially in hot weather.
  • Stay on the trail!
  • Be aware we are in the range for copperheads and timber rattlers, although none have been identified on the property. You may encounter a variety of non-venomous snakes.
  • The trail is closed during deer season (November through January) for your safety. Although public deer hunting is not permitted at Powell Gardens, the trail winds close to our borders, creating a potential safety hazard.