It’s cold. I mean, it’s not in the negative numbers or anything, but I seriously considered hopping on my indoor bike for some exercise. However, it’s sunny and I have to get in some sun when I can… so, hiking it is!
The water was frozen, and the gravel pathway was extra crunchy. I was glad I wasn’t in some sort of stealthy operation, because all I could hear was CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH!
The path was wide open and well maintained. There weren’t very many people out – granted, it’s the middle of the week. There were only four other cars in the parking lot.
I started seeing light snow or heavy frost in areas, but the sun was shining!
Next to the walking path, there is a downhill bike path. It looked pretty good to me, but I don’t ride dirt bikes.
It was cold enough that my face got numb quickly. I ended up donning my balaclava. I had to be thoughtful about dogs on the path, because… well, you can see. I didn’t want to freak them out and bite me!
The path is great – open, no tripping hazards, etc. I think the only place I saw that made an exception was this nice stream with rocks in it to cross over.
The trail was clearly marked at least every half mile. The name of the trail makes me think it looks very different in the summertime.
I think this is the first time I’ve taken a picture of snow on moss. Silly, I know. I guess I’m usually not in the woods in the snow. HA!! Where’s my hot cocoa?
The trail was pretty clearly marked (see below) to keep hikers on one trail and bikers on another. It was only slightly unclear at the end… but I’m not sure that was the end? So, yeah.
When I grew up, we used to get “licorice root” from the mossy trees. If I remember right, it was from this same kind of fern? Anyway, we would clean the root off and bite down on the root just a little. A strong licorice taste would come out of the root. Woohoo!
As an adult, I can’t remember if this is the right root… So I try it. It did not taste like licorice, but it was a little sweet. It made me a little nervous though, just sampling random plants. (I didn’t get sick, so all is well!)
The above fern looks like it’s ready to spread some spores! At least, that’s what I’ve always assumed those dots were… I just looked it up, and it’s true! Those dots are called sporangia! Folks, every day is an opportunity to learn.
Okay. At what *looked* like the end of the trail, there was a loop to go back, you could hit the bike trail, OR you could walk up the road. I took pictures, and not one of them adequately showed how steep it was. It’s like taking a picture of the moon (with an iPhone, that is).
On the AllTrails reviews, quite a few people said there wasn’t a view, very disappointing, etc. Other people said, “if you didn’t have a view, you didn’t go far enough.” So I looked at the map, and it appeared to end at the top of a mountain/hill/whatever. Topographically, it should have a view. I kept going, up the very steep gravel road.
There’s a tree that is on the way down…
… and look at what’s holding it up, I had the feeling I could probably just give it a wiggle and bring it down. But I didn’t. I’m not a hooligan.
Just a bit farther brought me to the top! It was a grueling last half mile or so. I did not enjoy it. There wasn’t much for scenery, and it was just climbing up a gravel road, trying not to slip. So here’s the top, the view:
My friends, I was disappointed. If we’re supposed to go farther to get a view, I could not see where the view might be and I don’t know how much farther I would have to walk to get there. According to the map, I was at the top, and it certainly looked like I’d be going downhill no matter where I went from there. I said some choice words and immediately started back down.
Again, this does not accurately depict how steep the road was. I mean, this looks like a nice walk. No. No. It was not like that. I’m not sure why I can’t get a good picture of the elevation gain, but… it’s okay.
I almost biffed it twice on the way down, the second time barely catching myself in a one-legged squat. The ice and the loose gravel were not my friend that day. But I made it there and back again safely, like a good hobbit. I probably won’t use this trail again, but I’m glad I did it.
Distance: 4.82 miles; Elevation Gain: 1,052 feet