The Scotch Ridge Nature Park has a rich history. The site is rumored to be home to the woodland culture and other Native American tribes. A rocky ridge in the river at the eastern edge of the site once served as a ford across the north river. Also at this location, the road that became highway five once crossed the river and wound its way up Scotch Ridge. In more recent history, the site was supposedly home to the Keeney Hoover Mill, which was one of a handful of flour mills in the Carlisle area. Across the river to the east of the site, there are remnants of clay pits that once supplied clay for bricks that were manufactured in Carlisle.
The 3.3 mile, 10-foot wide paved trail twists and turns through the diverse landscapes of scenic Carlisle. Approximately 10,000 years ago, the last of the glaciers retreated from northern Warren County leaving behind a unique landscape along Carlisle’s North River. The river valley contains five distinct native ecosystems: a riparian wetland and woodland, a mesic and upland prairie and an oak savanna, all located within a distance of 2,500 feet. Accessing the Carlisle Nature Trail from the north end, visitors explore an off-street trail which passes the restoration of the five native ecosystems in the Scotch Ridge Nature Park, cross the bridge over North River, go past Carlisle Middle School, tunnel under Scotch Ridge Road and travel the on-street trail past the Aquatic Center, and on to the Summerset Trailhead. You can stay in Carlisle to visit the Farmer’s Market, catch a game at Lindhardt Park, relax at North Park, or spend time in downtown Carlisle. Everyone, whether they take a short or long ride, are encouraged to grab ice cream, a drink, and an appetizer.
The Scotch Ridge Nature Park is the Trail Head for the Carlisle Nature Trail. The three mile trail travels through scenic countryside and twists and turns through residential areas and parks. The trail ends at the intersection of the Summerset Trail.