Leaving from the parking area, this loop trail meanders through a restored wetland that is adjacent to Mill Brook, a tributary of the Merrimack River. Devastating floods in the spring of 2006 closed this area to recreation, and the wetland is being given a chance to revert back to the vibrant natural community it once was. At about 0.2 miles, the trail passes through a red pine plantation that was planted in the late 1960s. Beyond the plantation, the trail opens out to the open banks of the Merrimack River. There is an information kiosk in this location.
From the kiosk, go left (east) along the bank of the Merrimack River. The meadow you see to your left, dominated by a grass called little bluestem, is kept open by mowing every six years or so. In the summer, bank swallows nest in burrows in the exposed sand cliffs on the edge of the river. You may enjoy watching them swoop in and out of their nests, but please do not climb down the banks in this area (or let your dog do so) as this will disturb their nesting.
The trail eventually leads into the woods to a silver maple floodplain forest along the river’s edge. This unique natural community provides habitat for a variety of unusual plants, migratory birds, and other wildlife. About 0.2 miles after entering the silver maple floodplain forest, you will pass Eastman Cove on your right. This area is an oxbow marsh, a former meander of the Merrimack River that has been cut off as the river changed course. From Eastman Cove the trail wanders through floodplain forest paralleling Mill Brook for approximately 0.5 miles before reuniting with the original trail near the pine plantation. Take a right here and retrace your steps 0.15 miles back to the parking area.