On our way back to the city, we stopped at the Wertheim Refuge. We didn't have a lot of time, so we decided to do the shorter loop of the White Oak Trail. J was able to check out a pair of binoculars from the office for bird spotting, and off we went.
Although the short loop is 1.5 miles, we found out that didn't include the .5 mile connector trail to get there. The connector trail and the beginning portion of the White Oak Trail are along the Carmans River, so there were several scenic spots from which to bird watch, although we didn't see much of note. There were quite a few paddlers out on the river, although that didn't seem to disturb the swans.
We took the shortcut to make the short loop and headed back on the portion of the trail that is deeper in the woods. Then J's phone rang - it was the Refuge office, telling us our binoculars were due in 15 minutes. We started walking very briskly, as we figured we were a ways out.
Finally, I offered to
It would be best to do this hike when one has enough time (or one's own binoculars), and if you're interested in birds, likely at a different time of day. It was an attractive woods-and-water hike, completely flat of course. If your goal isn't birding but more of a workout, I'd suggest both the White Oak and Black Tupelo Trails, for a little over 6 miles.