TRAIL REPORT

Seven Ponds Nature Center encompasses nearly 500 acres of woodlands, wetlands, lakes, ponds, prairies, and fields. There are over six miles of trails for you to explore and enjoy. Please check-in at the nature center prior to venturing out on the trails. Our trails are open to guests Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and open to Seven Ponds members dawn to dusk, every day of the year.

Click here for a Seven Ponds trail map

CURRENT TRAIL CONDITIONS

February 23, 2024 - This time of year trail conditions can vary throughout the day - from hard and frozen in the morning to soft and muddy in the afternoon. Wear appropriate footwear and enjoy the final month of winter on the trails. 

Please be patient with us as our maintenance staff (of one!) continues to work to clear our trails of branches and trees that came down with the heavy storm a few weeks ago. Be aware that you might need to go over or around objects in the trail.

Note: we do not clear our boardwalks or bridges of snow or ice. If you venture onto one of these structures, use caution and be aware that they might be slippery. 

DO NOT walk onto the ice from Seven Ponds property. The lakes are very deep near shore and the ice is unstable. 

RECENT OBSERVATIONS

  • Warm winter days often see the emergence of Eastern Chipmunks. These small mammals are not true hibernators (such as woodchucks), but rather sleep through much of the winter. They wake regularly to eat, relying on food cached through the warmer months. On warm, sunny winter days they might emerge to forage and replenesh some of their larder. We've been seeing them around the nature center for the past couple weeks. (2/14/24)
  • Early Red-winged Blackbirds were heard singing in the North-80. Canada Geese and Trumpeter Swans were seen on Big Pond. Be on the lookout for early spring arrivals. (2/13/24)
  • Additional owls heard here at the nature center over the past couple nights: Great Horned Owl and Eastern Screech-Owl. (2/9/24)
  • Last night we heard a toot-toot-toot of a Northern Saw-whet Owl from somewhere between the Naturescape and Earl's Prairie. These tiny owls - about the size of a 12-ounce pop can - like to roost in dense conifers. Despite their petite size, they are fierce predators, hunting small mammals at night. (2/8/24)
  • We often get striking sunrises over the prairie and sunsets over the ponds here at the nature center. Yesterday when the staff was leaving for the day we were treated to nature's glory as the sun was setting behind the building. Check out the cell phone shots to the right. (12/8/23)
  • The pair of Sandhill Cranes that have made the nature center yard their home since mid-June seem to have departed south to a warmer winter home. We sure enjoyed their company over the past six months, and we wish them a safe winter. Hopefully they will return once again in the spring. (11/28/23)
Nature provided another stunning sunset at the ponds
Nature provided another stunning sunset at the ponds
First of the spring Eastern Chipmunk at Seven Ponds
First of the spring Eastern Chipmunk at Seven Ponds
Sunset over Seven Ponds
Sunset over Seven Ponds
"Our" Sandhill Cranes, pictured on November 8 watching over our welcome sign.
"Our" Sandhill Cranes, pictured on November 8 watching over our welcome sign.
Misty morning fog over Treetop Pond
Misty morning fog over Treetop Pond
Louisiana Waterthrush at Jonathan Woods
Louisiana Waterthrush at Jonathan Woods
Woodchuck chilling out on the rock bath
Woodchuck chilling out on the rock bath
Sunset at Big Pond
Sunset at Big Pond
Our healthy raccoon visitor
Our healthy raccoon visitor
Young turkeys on the move
Young turkeys on the move
Slugging along on a window
Slugging along on a window
Northern Waterthrush at Jonathan Woods
Northern Waterthrush at Jonathan Woods
Good morning, Woodchuck! Nice to see you again.
Good morning, Woodchuck! Nice to see you again.
ANOTHER spectacular sunrise over Earl's Prairie
ANOTHER spectacular sunrise over Earl's Prairie
Virginia Opossum at our feeders
Virginia Opossum at our feeders
Trumpeter Swans on Treetop Pond
Trumpeter Swans on Treetop Pond
Red Squirrel overcoming our "squirrel proof" feeder
Red Squirrel overcoming our "squirrel proof" feeder

207 bird species have been observed at Seven Ponds! The most recent addition to our property list was Common Goldeneye, seen on March 12, 2023. For more recent sightings posted to eBird, click the eBird logo to the right.

 

Our satellite properties are visited less frequently, but offer different habitat for birds. Check out the eBird reports for these two areas below:

 

Jonathan Woods Nature Preserve eBird reports

97 bird species observed

 

Richie Pond Nature Preserve eBird reports

65 bird species observed