Brush Hill Nature Preserve 

This preserve was the first of the Green Earth's properties.  It is located in eastern Carbondale at the top of the hill on Park Street, about halfway between Wall and Giant City Road.  The parking for this site is just west of the Carbondale Township Fire Dept.  

Brush Hill is approximately 20 acres of forested hills. The 1.0 mile trail loop is named after one of the founding members of Green Earth, Herbie Beyler.  This trail is moderately difficult because of elevation changes.  A shorter trail loop (approximately 1/3 mile in length) by-passes the steeper and more challenging portions of the trail. The full trail passes through many different habitats, including an old clearing, an upland forest, a lowland forest, a seasonal pond, and a coal pit excavated by early settlers.

The derecho storm that swept through the Carbondale area during May 2009 permanently changed the face of this woodland.  What was a mature forest with closed canopy structure was set back successionally to nearly open field conditions.  The oaks, hickories, and walnuts that dominated much of the west facing slope are gone. Sapling trees will now have to compete with shrub species for sunlight and other resources.

The hiking trail that was closed for months following the derecho was opened thanks to the hard work of volunteers Keith and Mark Beyler.  Since the trail's reopening, several sections have been re-routed to deal with downed trees and long standing erosion problems.  The lower, wetter sections of the trail can still be problematic after rain, but Green Earth constructed gravel turnpikes, greatly improving the footing.  Major improvements have been made over the past few years and will continue with the help of our fantastic volunteer labor force.

Trail Adopters:  Long Forestry Consultation
Download or print .pdf Brush Hill Trail Guide

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