The Paul Stock Nature Trail is part of the City of Cody’s trail system. This 1.3 mile section gives runners a little more challenge than pounding the asphalt. The main trail is gravel based and winds near the shore of the Shoshone River. There are plenty of narrower side trails that actually take you down to the water and can increase how long you spend here. This is a nice riparian habitat with tall cottonwood trees and sagebrush. Mule deer, waterfowl and song birds frequent the area.
What Makes It Great
Although it’s not long, this is a beautiful little trail. Runners can take the city streets to get to the trailhead then enjoy some quiet and pretty scenery along the river. From the trailhead above the canyon, the route drops down to the level of the river and loops around a level bench.
You can extend this trail by starting at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, head west and drop down to the river. The trail is narrow (more of a fishing trail) and follows along the river bank. You’ll come downstream, hit the Paul Stock section, go back up through a neighborhood and then turn left toward the Shoshone Riverway Trail Access. Here the trail follows right along the river. The path itself is broad and a mostly a mix of gravel and road base. It’s a dead end, unless you take the stairs near the end of the trail up the bluff and back into town. You can get a map of the trail at the Paul Stock Aquatic and Recreation Center.
Who is Going to Love It
The Paul Stock Nature Trail is perfect for someone without a lot of time who wants to do some running off the city streets. There’s not a lot of elevation gain/loss and the trails are wide and level. If you have bicycling kids with you they’ll love this trail and the extension to the Shoshone Riverway Trail.
You have a good chance of seeing wildlife on the trail, including snakes. Generally these are garter snakes or bull snakes, but the occasional rattlesnake has been sighted.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Paul Stock Nature Trail is located at 801 Spruce Drive. From downtown follow 12th Street north to the 4-way intersection with River View Drive. In front of you will be the entrance to the Shoshone Riverway Trail. Turn left (west) for .5 mile. River View Drive veers left but you want to stay right and continue on a short distance to the end of the road and the trailhead for the Paul Stock Nature Trail.
There are no fees and your leashed dog is permitted. You’ll find a handy Mutt Mitt dispenser at the trailhead. There are vault toilets but no water. In the fall blaze orange will come in handy. There’s no hunting within the city limits, but hunting is allowed north of the river.