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We love hiking our local trails, so when our parks district started building a new trailhead not far from our home, we couldn’t wait for it to open. The Mill Race Path finally opened last week, so on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we went to try it out.
The trailhead is on the edge of Springfield, just down the street from Willamalane’s Bob Keefer Sport Center on 32nd Street. We parked and had a look around. There are two brand new bathrooms available; we stopped to check one out with our potty-training 3-year-old. After the bathroom, we headed down the paved path. The path is stroller- and bicycle-friendly: on the day we visited, lots of people were using the path, walkers, runners, and bicyclists.
Our kids enjoyed watching some of the wildlife in the nearby pond and mill race, mostly ducks and birds on our visit. There are benches dotted about, inviting anyone to sit a while.
The path follows right along the mill race. Across the water, we saw farm fields, pastures, and hazelnut orchards. We stopped for a bit and watched people working with horses in the distance.
We walked for about 1/2 mile toward the Booth-Kelly Trailhead before our little ones got tired, then we headed back. We will definitely be back, again and again. This new trail is a treasure, and right in town! It’ll be fun to watch spring and summer come to life along the mill race, and to see what kinds of wildlife thrive nearby.