July 20th, 2013
Weather: Sunny, hot, low 90s
Hikers: Ian, Court, Biff, CV
We got to the trail head around 8am, but there was a sign saying the trail was closed. We had already driven all the way there and the trail looked ok, so we continued on anyway. This trail was an interesting mix of terrain, alternating between open, hilly fields and shaded woods.
In the first quarter mile in the woods we saw our first wildlife (not including the thousands of grasshoppers that scattered to the sides every step we took): a small cottontail rabbit. I tried to get a quick photo, but Biff scared him off. A little further in we crossed a wide gravel road and the trail was cut off by a low fence (the kind found in construction zones). It seemed like we had found why the trail was closed. We could have easily stepped over the fence and continued, but we were unfamiliar with what lay ahead and we also knew that there was another trail head at the other end. We turned around and headed back to the car. On the way we encountered another couple heading in and told them about the fence, but they pressed on. When we got back to the parking lot there was a group of bikers getting ready to head down the trail also. Apparently “closed” is just a suggestion at this trail. But we decided to continue to the other trail head and got in the car.
The other trail head was just a couple of miles away and a little more secluded. The beginning meandered through some tall brush on both sides of us. It felt a bit swampy almost. The trail then wound through the woods and emerged into some open hills covered in grass. Just out of the woods we saw another rabbit and I got a decent picture this time, but he was well camouflaged.
We walked about two miles in, but the sun was beating down pretty hard and the dogs were getting tired so we decided to turn back. This was and out-and-back trail, not a loop, so the farther we went in, the farther we had to come back. We stopped several times on the way back in the shade to give the dogs water and I had to dodge a huge spider in the middle of the path at one point. Court claims it was just a banana spider, but I say it was going to kill us all. Biff decided he was going to lie down for a rest, but we got him to continue and we got back to the car ok. Overall, we hiked a little over 4 miles, so it was a bit shorter than we had anticipated. We are going to try and go back this fall and do the whole thing, roughly 10 miles.