Let’s Walk! An Adventure for Busy Bees Near the Butterfly Pavilion
posted by: Gretchen White
That buzz in the air might have something to do with the end of school and the approach of hot summer days. Or, maybe you are nearing Westminster’s popular Butterfly Pavilion? That buzz could be actual bees flying out of their building situated right on The Big Dry Creek Trail. This week’s stretch of trail skips over some of the more residential portions, landing in the parking lot just south of the Pavilion’s building. Signage will let you know you are in the right place.
The Big Dry Creek Exploration Trail is a handy sliver where you can get fresh air, exercise, and learn a little about local ecosystems. This trail within the trail system is dotted with informational signs about the animals, plants, and other ecological features of the area. At publishing time, the Butterfly Pavilion is closed to visitors, but it would be a lovely place to visit if you walk the trail when it is open again.
This offshoot of the Big Dry Creek Trail is connected by a sidewalk that runs along the western edge of the property to the north. Then, you can take the sidewalk east along Church Ranch Blvd. until you get to the trail that will take you down to a mural-covered underpass featuring fishy friends waiting for your photo op. (We saved the northbound portion of the trail for another day.)
Head south, away from the fish. The trail swings to the east, making a letter “C” as it curves back to the west. Prairie dogs are everywhere, yipping and yapping at your every move. We saw a blue heron and hawks during our walk, too. The Butterfly Pavilion will be on your right. There is little shade on this walk, so make sure you have your hats, sunscreen, and water bottles. Keep walking through this prairie environment. You’ll go under Westminster Blvd, which is marked by a huge field of rocks lining the sides. Just beyond that is another example of Westminster’s Mural Program along the trail.
Take the tunnel under Highway 36. On both ends, enjoy the incredible mural artwork done by local artists. This is a perfect spot for photos and stopping for a little break before you backtrack on the trail to the parking lot. You can opt to take the sidewalk along Westminster Blvd. as well, making a circle.
While this particular Big Dry Creek Trail walk isn’t terribly long, there is a lot to see and do. Once the Butterfly Pavilion is open again, you could make a day out of it with indoor and outdoor adventure.
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