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Nature Book Trail and Marsh Area

Trail length: 0.25 mile
Round trip: 0.5 mile

Our new Nature Book Trail consists of 14 large signs that display the pages of Butterflies: Exploring the Life Cycle, a book by Oak Ridge author and educator Dr. Shirley Raines and University of Memphis nature photographer Curt Hart. The trail begins near the entrance to the Visitors Center and ends at Marsh Road that comes back to the starting point. In all, the distance is about 0.5 mile, and is suitable for adults and children who can walk. The trail is neither handicap accessible nor suitable for baby strollers.

Formerly named the White Pine Trail, the Nature Book Trail is on the hillside above the meadow that borders Scarborough Creek. The trail winds through what was once an eminent stand of tall eastern white pine trees. Most are gone now, destroyed by the Southern Pine Beetle epidemic in 2003. The American beech trees that have grown into the area where the pines once stood will stand out in the winter months, as many of their faded-orange fall leaves are retained until spring. On the way back to the Visitors Center along Marsh Road, early spring walkers will enjoy the colorful blooms in the Magnolia Garden on the slope above the road.

The Marsh Area is located where Scarborough Creek widens - just south of the grassy meadow. The bright red berries of the Marsh Area collection of hollies will treat fall and winter visitors. Walkers in all seasons will enjoy the "trees with knees" (bald cypress) in the marsh and the Central China Collection of tree specimens that are found in remote areas of China. An informative sign, located in that area, describes the characteristics of the water-loving trees growing in the marsh.

Map and Profile

White Pine Trail

White Pine Profile

Nature Book Trail Profile (A to B)
GPS at A: N35.99158, W84.21822
Average Grade: 9%
Distance: 1,362.6 ft.

Profiles generated with DeLorme XMap.

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 Telephone: 865-483-3571 Email: