The Windridge Trails in Jeffersonville offer a choice of terrain and scenery. The trails split into two sections called the Pond Route and the West Farm Loop Trail. You can access both trails from a small parking area off Robtoy Road.

The Pond Route begins with a very short, fairly steep section. But the trail quickly levels out, and the roughly one-mile long circular route is generally flat and easy to walk.

From the parking area you can reach the trail’s pond overlook more quickly by heading left. As you walk the 8-foot wide trail through the quiet, secluded woods you’ll see a sign for “Pond Overview.” Take this spur trail about 75 yards to reach a grove of trees near the edge of a scenic pond. Bordered by woods and a farm with a rustic barn, the pond is a quiet spot for reflection, wildlife viewing and bird watching.

While the Pond Route is serene and relaxing, the Windridge West Farm Loop Trail is more of an adventure. From the trail system’s parking area, cross the road to access the West Farm Loop Trail. This trail borders a field before dipping into deep woods.

The Loop Trail is hilly and uneven, though certainly hikeable for the average person. After walking about 15 minutes on this trail, you will reach a T-shaped intersection in the woods. Turn right, walk about one minute, then turn right at the next trail intersection. This will bring you to the Brewster River Gorge and its waterfall.

Stop below the falls for a rest. You can lunch or sunbathe on some large rocks, or cool your feet in the shallow pools at the foot of the falls. The narrow falls are over 40 feet high, but often have a small flow except when water is plentiful.

The falls area is a popular spot for hikers and local residents looking to cool off. The area also can be a hangout for nude sunbathers. On one of my visits, a fellow appeared on the trail dressed only in a hat and sneakers, with a towel draped over his shoulder.

To exit the falls, you can either retrace your steps, or take another trail below the falls, which borders the river. This trail eventually meets Canyon Road, and from there it’s a fairly short, uphill walk back to the Windridge Trail parking area.

— Kevin Walsh

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