Nice rainy afternoon, good day to hike in the forest. Being a plant fanatic, Tonia picked Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park. We went to the visitor's center first to get a map and then proceeded down to the trails. We picked the wildwood trail, a 2 mile loop that started and ended at the visitor's center.
As we headed out, one thing became very clear. The people who made the map and, of course, the trail signage, knew the way very well. They didn't need a map. Because if they had, the map would have been a lot different. The trail we were following changed names every few hundred yards, corresponding with the part of the arboretum, I figured that out, but not before we had managed to follow a trail that led us to a neighborhood, exiting the park altogether. We followed the road and eventually met back up with the trail, but ended up lost again when we followed another wildwood sign not realizing that we were now on the magnolia trail. This lead almost to the Japanese gardens before we realized our mistake and turned back.
The magnolia section was definitely the highlight of the hike, beautiful plants, a few flowers, and super awesome seed pods. By this time it was raining pretty hard and we were off the trail again -?- and the only option was to take the trail leading back to the visitor's center, cutting our loop in half. Where did our trail go? It's a mystery. My only guess is that maybe you need a pocket mirror to see the secret coded paths as several times it seemed that the fork we were at should have been mirror imaged in order to match the map. And yes, I turned it upside down, this didn't help.
After a long time and lots of tea, we walked several blocks in the opposite direction of the car( on the wrong side of the main street nonetheless) before circling back and figuring out where we had parked. I made a mental apology to the makers of the park map.