By Deb Patterson
A large number of people put on their walking shoes and headed out to the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s Educational Center, SR 13, Syracuse, to enjoy the summer-like weather and the signs of fall for the 2020 Falltastic Trail Walk.
The walk was held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, and again from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11. The three trails on the WACF property were decorated for the fall season and Halloween. The event was free and open to everyone, including dogs if they were on a leash.
The three trails included: The Lake Shore Trail, 1 mile in length and takes about 21 minutes to walk; the Wetland/Woodland Trail, which is .8 miles and can be walked in 18 minutes; and the Center Wetland trail, the shortest of the three, which is .3 miles and it’s estimated it can be walked in seven minutes. Some even took the opportunity to walk out onto the new Conklin Bay Trail, which also connects to a section of the Lake Shore Trail.
While the trails are always open to the public to enjoy, the annual Falltastic Trail Walk adds a little extra. Along with the decorations, educational opportunities were available for those who wanted to learn how animals, birds, insects and other creatures prepare for the winter. There was an opportunity to read about wetland plants, the WACF property, test your knowledge about water, learn about wildflowers and trees on the property, fall and the colors, learn some fun facts about fall and Halloween and to see if you could find certain animal tracks.
Trail walkers could also learn how the wetlands work and what has been learned in the first year of the Wawasee Inlets Nutrient Study.
Before or after walking one or all three of the trails, guests could get a bottle of water and a pre-wrapped cookie at the Ruddell Pavilion. There were also treats available for the canine family member and water.
The trails are always open to the public from dawn until dusk.