|Click for readable size. Look at all those trails!|
Appreciate the comments that some of you have been leaving on my previous hiking posts telling me you enjoy hiking along with me. I aim to please! And so here's yet another hiking post as I work my way through another set of trails at Pine Street Woods. After getting 2 inches of rain over the weekend, I again scoured the weather forecast for a suitable hiking day, and found one not unlike the day from the week before. I'd noted icons for trails that weren't showing on map I'd printed out a couple of years ago, so I took time to get a good pic of the current map as shown on the sign at the trailheads. I've put in red arrows showing the two trails I chose for this day. Showing the trails outside of the Woods boundary, this map makes clear how one could put together hikes in a variety of lengths and difficulties both summer and winter.
I began with the Outhouse trail since it was so short - just .3 long to its end, no loop. Its icon is a crescent moon. Those familiar with actual outhouses would recognize that! This way also hooks up with the Butterfly Trail and Grandma's Trail.
I've been curious why this trail would have that name. It follows round the parking lot where this recently completed outhouse can be spotted through the trees. That must be it.
Nope. I stand corrected. Not too much farther along this actual old and not exactly usable outhouse has been left in place right next to the trail.
This is actually less a trail than a one lane forest road, possibly used by loggers at one point or the private owners to get around their property.
Not much elevation along this trail as it gently rises away from the parking lot area and crosses under the transmission lines. Note the large boulder up by the tower.
Back into the woods, I am struck by how very tall the trees are through here, be they evergreens or deciduous.
And chuckle at the way the woodpeckers have been going at this poor tree.
In no time at all I was at the end of this trail, as signified by the sign and a few yards further on a robust fence blocking the road. Here you can see in the background the older barbed wire fences I've seen elsewhere designating private land "neighbors". Time to turn around and head back to the trailhead.
Trail two to try is Grandma's Trail, the icon being a smiling face with glasses and hair wound in a topknot.
Now this is a proper trail. It winds between two large boulders - one sees them everywhere. No offense to Grandma (and grandmas these days don't always fit the old stereotype), but I did wonder if this would be an easy short trail at .4 miles to its end because of its name. Nope. It quickly steepened and twisted into a trail I'd bet delights those mountain bikers, and there was evidence that they'd been using it. Had a slight bit of second thoughts, wondering if it was a good idea to start a trail going downhill that you know you'll have to come back up when you aren't nearly as fresh. Oh well, carry on.
I have to admit that, for as much as I love hiking where I can get good views, I equally love hiking into deep woods, and that was a bit where this trail took me. As it came to a flat spot, I was surprised to come upon this boardwalk. It definitely looked a bit marshy in this area compared to the dusty trails I'd gotten used to.
A little further on was this little bridge. No stream at this point but you could tell that one runs through here at other times of the year.
More surprises - one of those very tall trees succumbed to the wind. How often do you think about what's below the ground as you admire a tree? All those roots weren't enough to hold the tree in place.
And some nice use of trees that probably succumbed to wind as well or for some other reason needing to come down, lining the trail and perhaps encouraging those bikers to stay on the trail .
Deep woods tend to stay damper and I was delighted to see this familiar kind of moss covering this slender trunk.
And here I am at the end of Grandma's Trail where it hooks up with the Upper Greta's Segway Trail. If I'd not hiked the Outhouse Trail first, I'd certainly head off onto this one now that I know it would take me to the Homestead Trail where it starts its downward trend.
Ok then, time to turn around and face that uphill trek back to the trailhead.
And indeed, I made it back to the parking lot with less question than I anticipated. My stamina must be increasing! It occurred to me that I haven't been taking any photos to prove it was me walking these trails but I have to tell you, selfies are not easy when you don't have a smart phone and a selfie stick!
Looking ahead at the weather, I spot one day when I might be able to get another hike in. There's another trail out here I'm keen to explore.