By Doug Raasch
Take this trail to explore the area northeast of the Visitor Center. The old rail bed provides access to excellent birding and wildlife viewing. The hike will be three miles round trip plus some suggestions for some side trails.
Park your car at the gate at the east end of Wildlife Drive, and follow the old rail bed. The trail crosses Myers Branch creek on a sturdy, relatively modern bridge. For the next ¼ mile the trees are often rich with song birds. As you leave the trees the rail bed/trail bisects a large field. The south side is planted each fall with winter wheat for migratory geese and native wildlife while the north side is a field-full of blooming sunflowers during summer months and attractive to deer and turkey. Soon after re-entering the trees, a mile into the hike, you will have the opportunity to turn left and follow the fence north, but your time will likely be better spent if you continue straight ahead on the road to Terry Lane.
The gate at Terry Lane is the turn-around point for a three mile walk ending back at where you parked. The paved, county road “Terry Lane” runs north and south here, cutting through the eastern side of the Refuge Myers Unit. The section of the Refuge east of Terry Lane is a relatively undisturbed area.
NOTE: Raasch Trail was formerly called OLD TRAINS AND TERRY LANE. Wildlife Drive connects the beginning of both this trail and Meadow Pond Trail, as they both, along with Wildlife Drive, were along the original railroad route to the town of Hagerman. The trail is now called Raasch Trail in honor of long-time volunteer, Doug Raasch.
Photo by William H. Powell