Let me start this off with the directions. I passed the trailhead… twice. As I’ve said time and time again, I’m very directionally challenged. I tend to get lost getting to my hikes quite often. This is why I have a smart phone and multiple gps units. Seriously. The reason why I passed this one up is because I was distracted by the horse stables that are directly in front of the small parking lot entrance. It was an “oh shiny, horseys!” moment.
And I made a new friend. This one became really uninterested in me when I had no food in my hand. Figures. This is a very popular horse trail, mainly because there are a ton of horse farms/boarding right in this area. I did see quite a few on the trail and they were very polite as always. Well, one lady was playing bejeweled on her iPhone as she rode, but hey, whatever works for you.
Forest 44 Conservation Area is right off of Highway 44. The trails are marked with symbols, and not by name as they are in my book. I’m pretty sure I did the overlook trail, though it doesn’t overlook much. Unfortunately at least half of the trail is above the highway. And it is quite loud. I did the trail counterclockwise and I got the highway roar for the first 2 miles or so. I was moving really slow and I couldn’t get my zen on. That made me sad. I need my zen, even if I’m not feeling the hike!
The interior parts of the trails were better. Still lots of horses (and poop) but it was easier going on the mind. Lots of butterflies. I’m not a huge butterfly fan, but hey, they have their place I guess. Also saw the tail end of a mama deer and her baby. I guess they aren’t phased by the horses.
Near the last mile (or first if you do the trail the right way!) there is a lot of open sunny sections. It was fine, and the trails are very well groomed so it is no big deal. However, the sun paired with the traffic makes it a bit low on my list to revisit.