Trail Area

The West Woods

About This Area

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The West Woods is a 902-acre park that protects the historic sandstone ledges of Ansel’s Cave, Silver Creek and its watershed, extensive wetlands and mature forests. The West Woods Nature Center is a popular attraction with its large wildlife feeding area and hands-on interpretive displays. Nine trails total 6.95 miles. Its name come from a story published in 1885: A.G. Riddle’s The Young Sugar Makers of The West Woods, which takes place at this very location.

A variety of events are held at the Nature Center and at the park including outdoor classes for small children and family events. You can find more information on Geauga Park programs online at:

Trail Map:

Information referenced from:

Area Features

Rangers Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
Nearby convenience store Yes
Trash Disposal No

Trail Area Highlights

Variety of trails from stroller accessible to challenging for little hikers. The nature center is a great place to start or stop with seasonal interactive displays for kids, bird watching and rotating art displays.

The Trout Lily Trail leaving from the Nature Center is partially paved, off-road stroller friendly the whole way. It crosses bridges over a swamp and heads thru the woods to a cool “bird in hand” feeder. The rangers have trained birds to eat from the hand of a mannequin of a little boy. You can grab a film canister of food from the nature center or pull some from the bird feeder on site. Follow directions and watch birds fly and eat right out of your hand!  Following the trail to the end you will find a nice lookout platform to climb and view the surrounding area.

Also from the Nature Center the paved Discovery Trail has interpretive signage explaining various natural features of the park – good for school age kiddos!  The paved Neighbors Way trail basically follows the park road connecting the two parking lots between the picnic shelters and Nature Center.

Ansels Cave is a longer unpaved hike out to the historical Ansel Cave site in the woods. Great for a carrier hike or strong walkers. Lots of stair steps down into the valley and then back up!

Trail Contributor

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Mom of 2 in central CT, I have been a part of HIB since 2015 when I joined the Worcester branch in MA when my first child was still under 1 yr old.  Currently a Branch Ambassador for the Hartford Branch. We enjoy getting out to our favorite weekly HIB spot with friends and going on family hikes on weekends to check out new places in the area.