Trail

Pond Way, Louise Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, Alabama

Auburn, AL
Length: 1.50 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

ACTIVITIES: Hiking, birding, interpretive trails, playground, nature center

LENGTH OF HIKE: 1.5 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Loop

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Mostly level terrain, with one stream crossing with stepping stones

ELEVATION GAIN: No

PARKING FEE/PASS: No

TOILETS: Yes; handicap-accessible

CHANGING TABLE: Yes

NURSING BENCHES: Yes

DOGS ALLOWED: No
BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: Yes

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: Yes

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: Snakes and ticks

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Bug repellent and sun protection

Nestled in a corner of Auburn, AL, a southern college town where football and barbecue reign supreme, lies the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center—120 acres of old-growth hardwood forest. Owned by Auburn University, the preserve acts as
an outreach program of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, providing a source of outdoor recreation and education to the thousands of visitors that walk its trails every year. Park employees host field trips and day camps for children of all ages. There are informative and interactive workshops year-round, like guided hikes and lectures with scientists.

Signs and kiosks are scattered around the park, educating both children and adults alike about the native flora and fauna in the area. The wide, groomed trails are easy for all ages to navigate especially new walkers and toddlers. The park has all sorts of whimsical and interesting features for kids to explore, like a section filled with fairy houses and faces painted onto trees. An old homestead and vegetable garden provide great spots to teach children about gardening, and a nearby butterfly garden attracts all kinds of winged visitors. There’s a pond with tiny docks for turtles to climb onto and separate enclosed habitats nearby for both turtles and baby alligators. The woods are filled with wildflowers, azaleas, a hidden waterfall,
and plenty of shady places to relax.

The park is open year-round, from sunrise to sunset. It’s a great place to visit at any time of year, but it’s particularly beautiful in the spring, when the leaves start to fill up the canopies and wildflowers are in bloom. Depending on the season, you’ll see frogs, turtles, alligators, birds, butterflies, and deer.

There’s another parking lot just around the corner on Farmville Road that gives you faster access to the old homestead, vegetable garden, and butterfly garden.

To hit all the best features of the preserve, take a 1.5-mile loop through the interior of the park. Starting at the pavilion, take Pond Way through the woods and across a field of wildflowers until you reach the pond. Turn left to take Barn Trace up to
the old homestead and vegetable garden, and then turn right on Homestead Trail to wander through the butterfly garden. Turn right at the parking lot and follow Pond Way around the right side of the pond, and then turn left at Hidden Falls Trail to
follow the stream to beautiful views of these gentle falls. Stepping stones will take you across the stream, and then take a right onto either Songbird Loop or the next wide, handicap-accessible trail to head back toward the pavilion, passing the turtle
and alligator enclosures along the way.

INSIDER’S TIP
The best feature of all is the incredible nature playground a shaded area filled with natural playground, a shaded area filled with natural materials to climb on and endless opportunities for kids to get dirty. The playground includes a treehouse, “eagle’s nest,” slides, logs, tunnels, boulders, balance beams, jungle gyms, a sand pit, and more. There are picnic tables for enjoying an al fresco lunch and a handicap accessible bathroom nearby. There are also benches located around the
park for relaxing, enjoying a snack, or nursing.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Playground, Ranger Led Hikes, Shelter, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“I take my 1-year-old son to the preserve several times a week. The nature playground is a great place to let him explore and play in the dirt, with several park swings and benches where parents can watch and relax.” —KRISTIN HINNANT

Trail Contributor

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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