A protected sanctuary
Experiencing nature is a vital part of the McConnell Springs adventure. Wildflowers wave in the breeze and greet visitors to the site as they emerge from the locust grove and enter a clearing at the rim of the Town Branch valley. To the left is a grassy slope leading to the pond wetlands. To the right is an accessible trail to the natural spring where green water plants flourish year round. Directly ahead across the brush-covered valley stand two towering bur oaks mute witnesses to the McConnell exploring party more than two centuries ago.

A wide variety of plants flourish in The Springs from the delicate wetlands on the east boundary to the old quarry on the west. Restoration of vegetation at the site has focused on plants native to the area. Trees line the boundaries of the park and serve as a buffer between parkland and the neighboring urban landscape.

Underneath The Springs, limestone bedrock is honeycombed with crevices that allow water to slip through and eventually emerge as a natural spring The Blue Hole at the center of the site. An elevated walkway crosses the wetlands area, offering an excellent view of the surroundings while protecting the fragile environment. After flowing just a few yards, this portion of Town Branch runs underground again, only to reemerge nearby as the bubbling Boils beside a natural stone bank. In the west corner of the park stand the remains of a small abandoned quarry from which was taken much of the material to build the oldest structures on the property. Beneath the quarry, the final sink closes the karst window as the stream disappears for a final time.

To view a photojournal of McConnell Springs Park, click here.