Stop 15 - Winding Trail
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Wetland beside trail
Wetland beside the trail with a cypress tree. This is halfway between stop 14 and stop 15 on the left of the trail.

Post D winding boardwalk
Boardwalk D. This marks stop 15.

Hansel Gate
Hansel Gate.

Herb's Grove
Herb's Grove sign. Herb's Grove honors Herb Orwig, one of our earliest boardwalk and trail builders.

Possum haw holly
Possum haw holly.

Stop 15 vicinity

Stop 15 vicinity and directions to the next stop.

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Things to see and do at this stop:

  • About halfway between stop 14 and 15, on the left, is a quick view of a small basin that can be quite attractive when filled with rainwater.
  • At stop 15, there is an area to the right of the trail at this juncture. The sign reads Herb's Grove.
  • Look further to the right to see the Hansel Gate.
  • The trails ahead are marked by short posts with letters close to the ground.
  • Possum haw hollies are beside the boardwalks.

This trail traverses an interesting but poorly-drained area that was long inaccessible to visitors. If you look at the trail map you can see that it is entirely outlined by boardwalks. In the years before the boardwalks were built, it stood water about as often as not. Since those of the Winding Trail were built in the winter of 1995, it has remained relatively dry. In fact, during the 1998-2000 drought more than half of the area's trees died, including a grove of mature sweet gums. Survivors are mostly water oaks and post oaks.

However, there still is not much undergrowth because of the combination of shade and wet, heavy soil – there are plants that tolerate shade and plants that tolerate poor drainage, but few that tolerate both. But some of those are quite nice, indeed. For example, about half-way down this boardwalk on your left, is a very nice deciduous holly, or possum haw. A close relative of yaupon, this plant bears tufts of elongated leaves that are dropped every winter, leaving rows of red-orange berries lining white-barked branches.

Directions to the next stop:

  • The self-guided tour continues straight ahead on Boardwalk D, but if you've had enough (or the natives are restless), then take the McCarver Trail to your left and it will take you straight back towards the last stop near the cabin.
  • Continue northward on Boardwalk D.
  • The end of this boardwalk is the next stop.

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