This hike through Holden reminded me of the arboretum in Quebec City and Portland, Oregon, and made me want to return to visit both places! I have only ever been to Holden Arboretum in the fall, so it was quite a treat walking around in the spring and getting to see all of the plants in bloom. I discovered sections of the park that I hadn’t been to before, and saw the canopy walk for the first time (but did not go on it).
I started my hike along the Woodland Trail, passing Foster Pond and entering the deer fence/barrier area. I turned onto Old Valley Trail, and tried to take the Pierson Loops Trail but got turned around and missed it. It was okay though, because the Old Valley Loop was a really enjoyable trail. I didn’t see a single other person while hiking, and it was quiet and still felt fresh from the morning.
I left the Old Valley Loop Trail briefly to do the Strong Acres Loop, a surprising exit from the woods into a magical field full of chirping birds. The loops was a mowed path through the field that walked me past many bird houses with active residents.
I connected back up with Old Valley until the Offutt Boardwalk, where I walked around the boardwalk, stopping at all of the different little “meditation” points. I then hiked up the intimidating set of stairs and met back up with the Woodland Trail. I passed the Canopy Walk to get to the Rhododendron Gardens. This area was beautiful, and smelled wonderful with all of the flowers in bloom. It really reminded me of our trip to Quebec City and the arboretum there, and made me want to return immediately! I finished the hike by doing a loop around Blueberry Pond, where I saw a frog and heard many more, and the Butterfly Garden behind the visitor’s center. It was a really great hike, and was really happy that I finally made it to the arboretum in the springtime! In all, it was a little over 5 miles, and I was able to see so many different areas of the park from fields, to deep woods, to beautiful flower gardens. I highly recommend this place, even though there’s a small entrance fee (you get a discount if you’re a AAA member!).