Hiking A Nature Trail at Holden Arboretum

When we visited Holden Arboretum this past spring, we primarily visited the formal gardens. So in August we decided to go back and check out one of the nature trails. It turns out there are 19 miles (30.6 km) of hiking trails at Holden Arboretum.

Stairs leading to the valley floor on the Old Valley Trail.

We were accompanied by our daughter, Dee. We parked by the Visitor’s Center, looked at some of the gardens behind the center, and then walked to the trail-head for the Old Valley Trail. We passed several wetlands and a nature observation platform on the way. When we came to the junction with the Pierson Loop Trail we took the Pierson Loop Trail into the ravine.

Garden behind the Visitor’s Center

There were lots of little bullfrogs in the pond, some still bearing remnants of their tadpole tails.

Bullfrog on lily pad

A bullfrog that still has its tadpole tail.

Lily pads

Joe Pye weed

Black-eyed Susans

Leopard flower (Iris domestica)


Fire pink

One of many benches in the garden

My daughter and I on the way

One of the wetland areas on the way

The observation platform overlooks one of the wetlands.

Molting red-winged blackbird

Pierson Trail and Old Valley Trail coincide at this point

Choice between Old Valley Trail and Pierson Loop Trail; we went toward the Pierson Loop Trail.

Pierson Trail Loop; we took the stairs down are to the left, but there are more stairs for the return trip on the right.

The Pierson Loop Trail starts with a steep descent into a stream valley, then proceeds through the valley and up the other side. The trail has wooden bridges across the streams and lengthy stairs leading down into the valley and up the other side.

Deb and our daughter on the way down

The stairs go down, down, down

White baneberry

Fruit of False Solomon’s Seal

Crossing the creek

Creek bed

American toad in the creek bed

Stairs on the way back; there were benches on some of the landings.

There is still a lot of arboretum that we haven’t seen, and many impressive gardens that we wouldn’t mind seeing again. It looks like we’ll just have to go back. 🙂

Additional information
  • TrekOhio: Holden Arboretum — Our original article with directions
  • TrekOhio: Lake County Parks & Preserves — This is the county where Holden Arboretum in located; check out this page for links to the official website and for information on nearby parks and preserves.
© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017

9 thoughts on “Hiking A Nature Trail at Holden Arboretum”

  1. Beautiful pictures, great article.

  2. Deb Marsh says:

    Wow–great pictures and article! It is nice to have some views of summer when it is cold outside!

    1. Bob Platt says:

      Thanks, given our large article backlog – there will be a lot more summer (and spring) pictures.

  3. Serola says:

    I was first very confused when just browsing through pictures. Then I read the text and realized the trip was done last spring 😀

    1. Bob Platt says:

      No, they aren’t current pictures; the leaves are off the trees now, and its getting cold. It’s almost time for the winter hiking season.

      1. Serola says:

        Nice to meet you Bob 🙂 The climate sounds very similar than here in Finland. We have nice hiking paths also in the Tampere region. Unfortunately I’m not much an outdoor person, therefore limiting my walks to parks around the town.

  4. What a pretty place to visit! I bet it’s gorgeous in the fall as well… 🙂

    1. Bob Platt says:

      I’m sure you’re right. Holden is a long drive for us, so we haven’t been there in the fall … yet.

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