I had heard about the Gambrill Mills Trail last year but never had a chance to find out where it was on campus, let alone explore it. Fortunately, on a recent beautiful Thursday afternoon I got lucky and got to finally walk over and experience the trail. Once on the trail I found myself in a peaceful state but also a little shocked.
I grew up exploring the outdoors as much as possible, particularly walking on trails. I have seen all types of trails and wilderness and plan on seeing much more in the years to come. When I think of a trail, I think of trees, wild plants, tons of greenery and wild life. When I took my first step into the Gambrill Mills trail I did not get to experience much of these wonderful things.
There was a lovely greenery area gated off, I am guessing either for a garden or for plants to grow. There was plenty of fresh green grass with no footsteps to be seen. It was a gorgeous day out and I was excited to continue to walk and see what else this trail had to offer. Only a few more steps away was a little creek. Even though it was very tiny, it was quaint and fit the scenery. I had thought about sitting down and taking the scenery in but decided to keep on walking. As you walk down the Gambrill Mills trail you start to hear and see things you would not usually think of. Once you pass the little creek you no longer just hear a bird every once in a while. Instead, you also hear noises from the apartments on campus. This was a little distracting while trying to take in the surroundings but I continued on. To my surprise, after walking just a little further I came upon construction marks all over the ground. There is no longer the green grass I saw as I began this journey. In fact, there is no grass to be seen. It had rained earlier before I set about to walk on the trail and it appeared to me that construction trucks had driven in right after the rain and left deep tire marks in the ground. This caused significant damage to the ground because it was so wet. There were also broken branches and plants all throughout the trail. At this point I was a bit saddened after seeing and hearing everything so far, but just as I reached near the end of the trail I decided to look back at what I had just walked through. To my delightful surprise I was able to see the bell tower on campus and some beautiful red berries in a bush I had missed. The bell tower looked elegant and the red berries added a burst of color to the scene. Even though the trail had not been what I expected, especially in its lack of eco-friendliness, I still was able to enjoy a wonderful day in the outdoors. It just reminded me that even if you are in an area where plant devastation or human population has take over, if you look hard enough you should still be able to see how breathtaking nature can be, even if it is a couple of red berries in a bush.