The Bingaman Pond Nature Area is tucked right in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and is split into two sides: a forested loop on the western side, and a walk along Bingaman Pond on the eastern side.
A placard about the area and its history marks the beginning of both trails. Start by heading to the left, walking alongside a chain-link fence for just a few hundred feet. The trail can be narrow, lumpy with roots, and slippery when wet, so watch your step.
The trail shortly turns into the trees, and the path becomes very wet; it may seem like you’re walking more in a stream than on a trail. Waterproof shoes will come in handy here! Be cautious while walking as the ground is not even and the ground may be difficult to see clearly under the water.
Luckily, this waterlogged part of the trail is not long, and you’ll soon come to a junction, a set of steep trail stairs with a handrail to the left and a trail heading uphill toward the right. You can go either way as these are two sides of the same loop.
Heading up the stairs to the left, the trail flattens out at the top of the stairs. There may be crows and red-headed woodpeckers in the trees nearby. In spring, trillium blooms in the area.
In about 200 feet, you’ll hit a junction. Taking the path to the left will take you to an exit point onto S 283rd Lane. The short trail to the exit is steep at times, especially at the very end, where the dirt path to the road is nearly vertical, so be aware.
Taking the path to the right keeps you on the loop. In just over 200 feet, the trail begins a moderately steep descent which continues for a short distance until you can see the beginning of the loop again. The trail then flattens out to a mild descent to return to the beginning of the loop. Turn left at the junction and head back toward the trailhead, watching your footing again through the wet path.
At the trailhead, continue to the other side of the placard down a set of trail stairs with a handrail to head toward Bingaman Pond. The trail is relatively flat past the stairs, and much more open than the western side of the nature area, with many ferns but fewer trees surrounding the trail. In about 0.1 miles, come to a giant fallen tree with roots facing the trail on the left. There is mossy plant growth in the roots, an indication of how long ago the tree must have fallen.
Shortly past the fallen tree is a junction. Toward the left, walk onto a wooden bridge over the pond. The bridge is very slippery when wet; be careful! It’s easy to spook some ducks you might not even know are nearby in the pond, so don’t be surprised if stepping onto the bridge causes some commotion. If you’re lucky, you may even see a bald eagle or great blue heron searching for food in the pond.
Past the bridge, the trail soon begins a moderate ascent, then flattens out. The trail ends a couple hundred feet later at a wooden fence. Head back the way you came until you hit the junction near the bridge again. This time, turn right. In just 200 feet, come to a small bench facing the pond, a quiet peaceful place to stop for lunch.
Behind the bench, the trail continues for another 200 feet until it reaches a meadow. At this point, you have explored the entire trail network.