I'm so glad I went that way! I had a great time. The trails on that side are, for the most part, really fun.
Not sure I've ever had such a clear view of this building.
There's an area where a trail dead-ends at spot where mountain bikers have made hills for jumps. Friday was the first time in a while to have a look and I swear they've expanded it by a lot. I only remembered a couple of different little hills going in one direction, and a couple more going in another, but now it has ten or more one way and six or so the other, and they're even connected by a crazy path that goes down and back up the huge hill they're on top of. Quite an ambitious expansion. These cleverly-stored buckets and shovels support my theory that the changes are recent and ongoing.
My shot that I always get of the Western side from the Eastern side.
And generally just nice scenery everywhere I looked.
Unfortunately, there was eventually a spot where my only options were lots of mud, even more mud, or turn back. I chose "lots of mud" at the first spot where you can leave the trail and enter the loop around the baseball fields, and thanks to some trees I could hug, only got a little wet. I only used that path to get to the second spot between it and the trails and immediately got back on them. One good thing is that when it's muddy in some parts, other parts that are really slippery due to sand are easier than normal to walk down, so I finished via the Northermost trail, which I typically avoid.
4.25 miles in 1:50, 9,133 steps, 459ft gain
It also ended up being the first time I could see the parking area from high up in the trails on that side. The white blob in the center is my car.
Oh and another treat from right when I arrived, a plane coming in to land about a mile from where I was standing.