The Blue Marsh Lake Day Use Area is home to the multi-use trail of the same name. Open to hikers/runners, bicyclists and equestrians, the trail is accessible from the Visitors' Center at the park entrance, and it loops around Blue Marsh Lake, a man-made reservoir that's a popular destination for locals and visitors. There is a parking area near the entrance, along with restrooms, food concessions and picnic areas with shelters.
The trail surface is mixed asphalt, dirt, grass and gravel according to the exact location, and it passes along cornfields and other farmland, grassy meadows filled with wildflowers in the spring, and over wooden bridges that span the many creeks and streams emptying into the lake. Portions of the path can be muddy and slippery after a heavy rain, and the trail is not always kind to the feet and ankles. Good boots are a must.
Many shade trees provide welcome cool sections along the trail, and pleasant surprises await around every corner, such as the views of the lake from above and the magnificent corn field through which you'll pass, or the huge field of sunflowers bobbing their heads in the sun.
This is not a trail for the faint-hearted, however, as it contains challenging steep ascents and descents that will get your heart pumping. Your rewards will be the views, the peace and solitude, and the many opportunities to view wildlife in their natural setting. From hawks and eagles to deer, small mammals, turkey buzzards and owls, your trek around Blue Marsh Lake is pawrfect for nature study, fun for both you and Fido!
Many side trails branch off the main trail, making for more adventure, and this path also provides access to the 6-mile Union Canal Trail. Some small secluded paths lead to pocket beaches on the lake just begging you to take a swim with your pup! Although the main trail is well-marked, it's wise to have a map in hand so you don't get turned around on one of your side jaunts.
Whether you do this trail in sections, or plan to make a very long day of it, you won't be disappointed!
This trail is well-maintained over most of its course, but there are spots where partially-buried rocks and protruding roots threaten to trip you up. There are also some steep ascents and descents that can be hard on your feet and ankles. Keep an eye on the trail ahead, wear good boots and consider a hiking stick for stability. Also watch out for ticks on this route!