I hadn't been on this trail in at least a decade, if not a dozen years. As such, I do not remember a lot of it. So in a few ways, it was like riding the trails again for the first time. My round trip started in Lower Huron Metropark, and I turned around at Huroc Park, in Flat Rock.
The first part of Lower Huron was uneventful--nice scenery, and some hilly terrain which I remembered from my last visit. My first wrong turn near the southerneastern end of Lower Huron had me going off on the wrong trail, ending up alongside Waltz Rd. and ending at Hannan Rd. in New Boston. Wrong move. I should have continued straight on the trail.
Back on correct trail, I had no problem getting to the first railroad crossing, which is protected by gates on both sides. Once you cross the tracks, you are on the connector trail, and off to the right there is a very small historic cemetery, the Nowland Cemetery, where some original area settlers from the early 1900s are buried. Immediately past the cemetery is a steep hill, of which there are a few along this portion of the trail. Very woodsy and scenic.
Right before you reach Willow, you will see a stub of a pathway leading to the I-275 Metro Trail. At the time of this writing (late August), the pathway is closed. I peeked around the barrier and it seems that in addition to resurfacing I-275, they have also refurbished this section of the path, as the asphalt looks smooth and fresh.
About 3½ miles later, you arrive at Willow Metropark. I remember the main trail was a circle around the park, so I stayed to the right. The trails here are mostly flat, but there are a few inclines along the way. There are a few trail intersections, which lead to parking lots, and there is also a trail which cuts through the middle of the park. Where I got a bit disoriented was on the southern end--there is a southern automobile entrance to the park, but the path to Oakwoods is about 2,000 ft. past that point. (Ironically, this is the one single point on the path that is marked.) From there, you cross Willow Rd. and you enter the Oakwoods Metropark. Be careful at this crossing, as posted speeds are 35MPH, and there is a slight bend in the road that blocks visibility.
Oakwoods is pretty much a straight shot from the entrance to the nature center. There is one ungated railroad crossing along the way, and the route is mostly flat. One thing that struck me was the condition of the Oakwoods trail--it is the roughest of the three, and not very well kept. There is a lot of soft asphalt crack filler in use, and there are a couple of sunken sections of asphalt. Unfortunately, the park itself looks desolate--on a summer Friday afternoon, there was nobody in the shack at the entrance, and I rarely passed anyone on the trail.
The new addition (for me) is the trail leading off of the Oakwoods Metropark trail that leads to Flat Rock and points east. The trail (which extends out to Erie Metropark) is part of the Downriver Connected Greenways Initiative. I took this trail only to Huroc Park. Not far before reaching the park is a third railroad crossing, gated. Like another review mentioned, there is a gate at the border of the Metropark and the Downriver trail, open during warmer months, but closed in the winter. (Given how little snow we have in our winters now, there is no reason not to keep this open year-round.) Just be aware that this path is not part of the Metroparks system.
Overall it is a very nice ride, quiet and scenic save for where you ride alongside and then cross underneath I-275. There are more hills in Lower Huron and along the connecting trail, but otherwise it is primarily flat.