Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Friday, April 18, 2014

Plum Creek Nature Area - Chatfield State Park

Plum Creek Nature Trail
Chatfield State Park

Date Hiked: April 18, 2014

Distance: 2.1 mi (RT) - could be longer if you want

Elevation Min/Max: 5,451 > 5,504ft

Chatfield State Park Trail Map
Plum Creek Trail Map (Google Maps)

Directions:  From the South, enter the park from Roxborough Park Road.  Once you pass the entrance station, bear right at the fork and make your first right.  Follow the road back south until you see this:

The road was damaged during the 2013 floods.  Park just before the closure but be very careful of where you park.  To the south of the closure, you'll see a narrow dirt path, this is your trailhead.

The real Plum Creek Nature Trail is the paved trail that starts a little further back along this road.  The trail described here is an unofficial, but clear and easy to follow, natural surface trail better for hiking.  Follow this path south along Plum Creek past cottonwoods and marshlands.  Soon you will intersect the paved trail, look for a sign saying "path dead ends."  Continue south past this sign on the paved trail until you reach Turtle Pond, you'll know it.  The official trail ends here.

The unofficial trail continues for a long way past this point and is actually the more scenic trail.  The trail goes through the woods and at the 1 mile mark reaches an oxbow of Plum Creek with a sandy bar.  This makes for a nice destination, or you can explore further.

Chatfield has an unofficial trail system that allows you to explore a great deal of the natural area.  There are no maps or trail markers so make sure you keep track of where you are.  These trails provide for a more wilderness-like experience and can be connected to form long hikes or good trail runs.

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