Jerry E. Clegg Botanical Garden is a 1.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lafayette, Indiana that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Three to five trails of varying length (none more than a mile long) that loop in on each other. Gorgeous views of the creek, and of the forest/native plantings can be enjoyed on foot or seated on one of the many benches along the path.
The trails and boardwalk were very run down. Too bad, years ago it was probably nice.
These paths are not like the paved walk at Happy Hollow, but nowhere near the "rugged" trails at Turkey Run or Shades. While not very difficult, the trails here do have quite few spots where you'd have to watch your kids and your own footing because of the pebbles and the narrowness of the path; it would be a pretty steep fall at times. We took our dog and had to keep her leash short. The park was not crowded at all, only passed 3 other people. The most dangerous part is crossing the road to get from the parking lot to the park. Compared to other hiking opportunities near Lafayette, I think this one is better than the Delphi or Prophestown.
I live close by and go here a few times a year. It is a nice place and they do a great job maintaining it. However, it is not difficult, at all. A little up and down but hardly anything to sweat over. I would rate as Easy, even on Indiana terms. But, I do like it!
I'd call this a hidden gem of Lafayette, but people *do* know about it.. they just *forget* sometimes what a peaceful and beautiful setting this is.
There's a few different dirt/woodshipped trails - some take you down to the edge of the creek and then back up for a soaring view from the top. All of them except the garden path feature steep stairs and inclines. Though this isn't as vigorous a hike as you may expect at Shades SP or Turkey Run SP , you may find yourself on one of the many benches on the trail catching your breath a bit.
Benches are plentiful, and also observation decks with seating, so you can enjoy the view of the creek and trees.
Our 'standard' walk is around 40 minutes of uphill and downhill (mostly in the shade). There's not a trail map for the taking available at the trailhead, but a posted map is available and the signs are easy to follow.
Do sign in at the front gate! You'll see a lot of "Lafayette" and 'West Lafayette' residents, but you also will see visitors from out of state.
Leashed dogs are welcome here, so you don't have to leave your canine at home. Let them walk in the beautiful woods and creek with you!