by Richard Luo
As you’re in the middle of walking on an outdoors trail, you suddenly stop and observe your surroundings. The dirt trail you’re walking has a large number of randomly placed, small holes in the ground, about the width of a person’s pinky. You pause for a second, then realize that these tiny marks are actually holes dug by cicadas as they make their way out of their underground burrows. On your left are an abundance of luscious trees; it's the only thing shielding you from the glaring sunlight of the afternoon, but also what’s hiding an abundance of insects, most notably the ear
piercing cicadas. To the right of you is a steep bank that follows along a shallow and pleasantly clean stream. You take a step closer and your eyes focus on miniature tadpoles adeptly navigating between the sporadic pebbles and rocks forming the base of the stream. If you haven’t already guessed from the title, what I’m describing right now, is part of the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail.
The Muddy Branch Greenway Trail contains 9 miles of natural surfaces, usually entertaining mountain bikers and hikers. The trail features rocky paths, streambanks, a massive fallen tree showing off its wild roots to everyone on the trail (great for pictures), and requires crossing streams on multiple occasions. A positive aspect of the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail is that nearly the entire path is under the cover of trees. So even though it may be 90 degrees outside, it feels more like 80. Furthermore, the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail constantly provides exit points throughout the trail as a large portion of it follows alongside a
residential neighborhood. In cases where you might be too exhausted to hike the entire trail back to where you started from, you can simply take an exit route. Finally, a downside to the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail is that some parts of the trail aren’t very well kept. For example, mountain bikers will need to dodge a number of low hanging branches or in a few instances, walk past a fallen tree in the middle of the pathway.
Regardless of the activity or the amount of time you plan on staying, the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail is a solid pick for any trip. The Muddy Branch Trail trail isn’t very difficult for both hikers and mountain bikers, so younger kids and amateur mountain bikers are encouraged to participate. Also, the 9 mile rocky terrain is sufficient for anyone planning on taking an all day trip or if you only plan on staying an hour or two, you can turn back anytime or take one of the many exit routes. Overall, I highly recommend the Muddy Branch Greenway Trail as your next destination.