Beauty and quiet, that is the essence of Carley State Park. In the spring, delicate bluebells (Mertensia virginica), and other wildflowers carpet the valley with a profusion of color. Hike along the trail that follows the Whitewater River and take in the grand old white pines. Listen for the sweet song of orioles, song sparrows, house wrens, and indigo buntings. Enjoy the picnic area, play on the swings or practice softball. Try your hand at horseshoes or sit back and see a red-tailed hawk ride thermals in the sky. The north branch of the Whitewater River is a designated trout stream and provides habitat for brown trout. Rustic campsites are located near the picnic area.

Quiet and peaceful with little streams and farms. It is a flat paved path which I would definitely rate as easy. I'm not sure why it was rated as moderate. It's a straight path so you have to turn around and go back if you're walking.

walking
5 months ago

really nice walking trails. Well paved and maintained. partly shaded, was really nice for walking with our dogs on leash. Nothing too exciting or scenic, but very nice. there are several streams that go under the trails but no access for the dogs to get a drink or Wade.

Hard surface bike trail on old railroad bed in great shape. Hiked 10.5 miles out and back from south trailhead. Basically a great trail for walking dog or biking. Not much to see. Elev change 220 ft. Not a hiking trail.

mountain biking
3 years ago

This is a beautiful, well-maintained country trail that takes you by farms and a couple of quaint small towns (Viola and Elgin). Currently, the trail is only 13 miles, but is planned to continue south to Eyota to be 15 miles in all. On the particular day I rode this trail, there was a very strong south wind that made the southbound trip a little difficult, but the northbound trip very fun and VERY quick! There is a bit of an acrid smell around a couple of larger farms in the vicinity (probably made worse by the wind). There is a slight trail detour in Elgin, but the signs are easy to follow. There are also bathrooms and rest stops along the way. In all, I really enjoyed this trail.