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Archive for May, 2014

Jordan River Pathway, MI – May 2014 | Backpacking Trip Report

Jordan River Pathway Backpacking Overview

View all of my Jordan River Pathway pictures

  • Location – Jordan River Valley, Michigan (Mackinaw State Forest)
  • Trail – Jordan River Pathway
  • Trailhead – From M-32 & US 131 in Elmira, go south on 131 for 1.5 miles, turn right (west) on Deadman’s Hill Rd. Road dead ends at trailhead
  • Park Type – State Forest
  • Fees & Permits – None to hike or park, but $13 per campsite per night at Pinney Bridge campground
  • Length Of Time Hiked – 2 days, 1 night
  • Trail Type – Loop
  • Miles Hiked – 21
  • Trail Difficulty – 3/10
  • Solitude – 2
  • Fires Allowed – Yes (in designated campsites only)
Total distance: 20.11 mi
Max elevation: 1319 ft
Min elevation: 597 ft
Total climbing: 3579 ft
Total descent: -3645 ft
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stats from my hike on the jordan river pathway

map of my route along the jordan river pathway

Map of my route along the Jordan River Pathway

map of the warner pathway and jordan river pathway

Map for both the Warner Creek Pathway and Jordan River Pathway

 

Notes

Pinney Bridge campground is the only place for hikers to camp along the Jordan River Pathway trail. There is potable water at the campground, as well as toilets.

Day 1 – Monday June 20th, 2011

Miles Hiked – 9.2
Route – Trailhead to Pinney Bridge campground

beginning of the jordan river pathway hiking trail

The weather was supposed to be nice today, but it was very foggy and raining lightly on and off when we arrived at the trailhead. I had already pushed this hike back a few days due to crappy weather, and could not push it back any farther. There was only one other vehicle parked here when we arrived.

a soggy meadow in the jordan river valley, michigan

hiking through the mackinaw state forest on the jordan river pathway

We chose to hike the north side of the trail first, supposedly 8 miles. At times, the Jordan River Pathway merges with the North Country Trail. The hike starts off by dropping about 350ft into the valley. The landscape consisted of soggy meadows and various patches of forest.

view through the trees on a hill

It wasn’t long before we reached a detour sign due to a bridge being out on the trail. The map we have showed only one river crossing on this side of the trail, and it was a ways away. Regardless, we followed the detour uphill. The detour followed the Deadman’s Hill Loop, the section that connects both sides of the Jordan River Pathway. After about a mile, we reached the end of the detour. Now, we were on the opposite side of the loop, which we were going to hike tomorrow. The detour had us hike south a very short distance, maybe a few hundred feet, before heading downhill again. Soon enough, we were back on the northern side of the loop. Looking at the map, there was a pond or small lake along side the trail where the bridge was most likely located.

the jordan river as it crosses jordan river rd

along the jordan river where it intersects jordan river rd

The trail meanders through the woods for a while before crossing the Jordan River along a dirt road. We stopped here for a while so Bryan could fish this area while I ate some snacks. Cedar swamp lined the banks of the river, which was fairly shallow here. It looked like it had a lot of downed tress and branches to snag on. After 20-30 minutes, we moved on.

the jordan river below

lots of yellow flowers along the banks of the jordan river

the jordan river pathway following along the river

The next section of trail was probably the coolest part of the hike today. It passed along the river for a while allowing us to get down to the banks. The trail was mostly above the river a ways in other parts, so this was nice. There is a fish hatchery located along the river on the opposite side that was now visible. Well, visible when the trail was elevated above the river… once down at the water level, the hatchery could not be seen. We had originally wanted to check this out but there didn’t appear to be any easy way to get across the river here.

posing in front of the jordan river

the jordan river pathway

jordan river valley backpacking

We followed the trail south along the river for a while, taking pictures and enjoying the views. There were a ton of yellow flowers along the river’s banks which added some nice color to the freshly sprouted greenery blanketing the landscape. There were many downed trees here protruding into the river, some of which had a large amount of soil on top of them allowing a good amount of grass to grow. You could easily walk out onto them and stand in the middle of the river on the 1 foot wide “planks”.

white flowers line the jordan river pathway

The trail eventually leaves the river and heads uphill. There was nothing steep here, but some gradual inclines. Now in the forest and away from the water, the yellow flowers disappeared and were replaced with tons of white ones. If you couldn’t tell, I don’t know my flowers very well!

view form an unnammed hill

Approaching the southern end of the trail now, we were presented with a view on an open hilltop. Nothing spectacular, but still more than we see in southeastern Michigan. Around this time we passed a group of 4 people doing trail maintenance. Much thanks to the folks who maintain this and all the other trails out there. We found the Jordan River Pathway to be well maintained and easy to traverse just about everywhere.

view of pinney bridge campground from our campsite

a view of pinney bridge campground

From here, the trail drops a a little bit before passing through Pinney Bridge campground. The campground is located in a large open field, and is “hike-in” only. There are 15 sites here, each has a picnic table and a fire ring. There is also a hand pump well and pit toilets here. The cost if $13 per night, per campsite and is set up as a self-pay system. You must put cash or check in an envelope, fill out the form and deposit the money in a pole next to the registration area. Before depositing your envelope in the pole, tear off the receipt and post it on the numbered pole next to your chosen campsite.

The campground itself is not much to look at, being just an open field and all. However, it’s located just a short walk away from Pinney Bridge, which crossed the Jordan River on the very southern end of the loop. After setting up camp, we headed down to the river to do some fishing.

looking north on the Jordan River from pinney bridge

walking through the cedar swamps along the jordan river

I was a little surprised at how nice the river looked once we got down to the bridge. The water was flowing pretty fast, but at least there are some deeper holes here to fish than we had seen upstream. Bryan and I went our separate ways as we both explored different sides of the river, hiking through the cedar swamps along the banks. I quickly found that the river is very braided here making walking along the banks more challenging. To get anywhere, one must hop from island to island over countless small channels of water flowing through the swamp.

multiple channels of water flowing through the cedar swamp

Not long after getting down to the river, the sun finally came out. Coincidentally, the mosquitoes and black flies also came out around this time. They really came out in force, too. Although it was warming up now, I was forced to wear a long sleeved jacket with my hoodie on to keep my skin covered. I also had a mosquito head net which helped a lot. It’s difficult to see through and just annoying to have in your face all the time, but better than being eaten alive by bugs I suppose.

pinney bridge view of the jordan river

banks of the jordan river

beautiful view of the jordan river, michigan

After having no luck on the downstream side of the bridge, I headed upstream. More of the same braided streams passing through cedar swamp on the other side. I could see many animal tracks in the mud through here. As with most spots along the river, there was a lot of downed trees and tons of things to snag on. I kept moving upstream for a while, having more fun exploring the banks of the river than actually fishing. Bryan was fishing on the other side of the river, and had just told me that he spotted a steelhead earlier. The snags in the water and ruggedness of the banks made it difficult to reach many of the best looking holes though, and he was not able to cast towards it. I made it quite a ways upstream before the various offshoots of water led me too far away from the Jordan River, and I decided to turn back.

our campsite at pinney bridge campground

After a few hours on the river, we wanted a break from the bugs and headed back to camp to see if they were any better there. They weren’t. We gathered firewood and got a fire ready to go for later this evening.

After an hour or so back at camp, we decided to head back down to the river to try our hand at fishing one more time. I had no luck and eventually gave up. It was really peaceful just sitting on the bridge next to the water, and this was good enough for me. Bryan headed back into the swamp in search of the steelhead he saw earlier. While sitting on the bridge, people occasionally passed by. Mostly, they were mushroom hunters, picking Morels. There are a lot of people out in the woods this time of the year picking Morels in Michigan. Bryan did end up catching one small rainbow trout, so at least one of us caught something.

Back at camp, we got a fire going pretty quickly to battle the bugs. I cooked italian sausages over the fire while Bryan ate a power bar and some beef sticks. The clouds returned as the sunlight faded away. We went to bed around 11pm.

 

Day 2 – Tuesday June 21st, 2011

Miles Hiked – 10.8
Route – Pinney Bridge campground to trailhead

I slept decently last night, and it wasn’t too cold. However, the clouds remained, and I was beginning to doubt today’s forecast of “sunny”.

the trail north of pinney

crossing the 45th parallel along the north country trail

We hit the trail around 9am this morning. Today’s hike should be around 10 miles back to the trailhead. The southern side of the loop is further from the Jordan River, but is supposed to have a few high points with views. We passed a marker along the trail indicating that we are crossing the 45th parallel, the half way mark between the equator and North Pole.

bridge crossing cascade creek

view of cascade creek

Next we crossed Cascade Creek. Lots of downed trees here along the water. The trail follows along the creek for a short distance.

view form landslide overlook

bryan fooling around at landslide overlook

He’s standing on solid ground

The trail then climbs up to Landslide Overlook. There were two other people up here leaving as we arrived. They had no backpacks or any other hiking gear, so I assumed there was a road nearby that they accessed this area from. At this high point, you can see for quite a ways. Views like this are few and far between in Michigan, especially in the Lower Peninsula. So, I figured this would be a good time to take a break and eat some food and take some pictures.

section 13 creek in the mackinaw state forest

hiking along section 13 creek

After leaving Landslide Overlook, the trail heads down to Section 13 Creek. Yup, Section 13 Creek. Awesome name, very creative. The trail follows the creek for about a half mile, which was nice.

the forest is getting green

The rest of the hike today was rather boring, from Section 13 Creek north to the trailhead. There were no more creeks to cross and no more vistas until we reach the parking lot. We were just hiking through nondescript forest for the last 5 miles or so. The forest was starting to come alive again with lush greenery though, and in a few more weeks, the trail may be overgrown in spots.

the story behind deadman's hill

panarama shot from deadmans hill

view of the jordan river valley from deadman's hill

Bryan’s knees were starting to hurt by the time we reached Deadman’s Hill, which was just around the corner from where our car was parked. This was the other well-known vista this trail has to offer. The view was definitely better than Landslide Overlook. Here, you had a much more open view, and the scenery was better. To the north, the Jordan looks like a trickle of a creek winding through a marshy lowland area. To the south, the river cannot really be seen due to the thick patch of cedar trees along its banks. From up here, the dark green color of the cedar trees really stands out among the deciduous trees farther from the river.

The parking lot was packed when we returned around 2pm. We hiked around 11 miles today, and about 21 total for the trip.

 

Final Thoughts

I was glad to have finally done this hike as it is known for being one of the best in the Lower Peninsula, albeit a rather unknown one. There were some really pretty areas here, again, for Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This is not a challenging hike, despite a few ups and downs here and there.

I was hoping the fishing would have been better, but isn’t that always the case? There were just too many logs in the water to snag on, and most of the fish we saw were tiny. However, for me, Pinney Bridge was the highlight of the trip. It was a beautiful spot to fish or just hang out by the river. It was a popular spot though, as I saw several people passing through here. There is a parking area near the bridge along Pinney Bridge Rd.

Pinney Bridge campground was convenient. It was convenient having the hand pump well there and the toilets, but the campground makes you feel like you are car camping at a state park, not along a hiking trail.

I would definitely hike here again, but the Manistee River is still my favorite Lower Peninsula hike.

As always, questions and comments are welcome!

If you found my trip report useful, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Alternatively, if you feel you have any information you’d like to share with others regarding this hike, please feel free to leave that below in a comment as well.

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Black Forest Trail, PA – April 2014 (Backpacking Trip Report)

Black Forest Trail Backpacking Overview

View all of my Black Forest Trail pictures

  • Location – Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania
  • Trail – Black Forest Trail
  • Trailhead – On Slate Run Rd about 1 mile northwest of Hotel Manor in the town of Slate Run
  • Fees & Permits – None needed (Backpackers only need permits to camp along Pine Creek or Slate Run)
  • Length Of Time Hiked – 4 Days, 3 Nights
  • Trail Type – Loop
  • Miles Hiked – 39.3 Miles
  • Trail Difficulty – 6.5
  • Solitude – 3
  • Fires Allowed – Yes
Total distance: 39.86 mi
Max elevation: 2182 ft
Min elevation: 771 ft
Total climbing: 9921 ft
Total descent: -9865 ft
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black forest trail miles hiked and elevation gain/loss

map of th e black forest trail tiadaghton state forest pennsylvania

Map of the Black Forest Trail

the weather during our hike

Getting There

I left home around 6am after meeting up with my buddy Ryan. It’s about a 7.5 hour drive (440 miles) to Slate Run, PA. We escaped rush hour traffic and where soon into Ohio. Ryan was set on Chick-Fil-A, so we made sure to stop at the first one we found. We don’t have them in Michigan.

On the way into Slate Run, coming heading north on 414 from 80, we passed a Tiadaghton State Forest building. Although they did have some maps, they did not have any for the Black Forest Trail.

Day 1 – Wednesday April 16th, 2014

Miles Hiked – 6.8
Route – Slate Run Trailhead to campsite near Little Slate Run along the BFT

picture of the trailhead for the black forest trail in slate run, pa

We arrived in Slate Run around 2pm as anticipated. The trailhead is located on Slate Run Rd, less than one mile north of Hotel Manor. It’s marked by a brown sign for the Black Forest Trail, and the road has pull off spaces for parking along side it. There was a large “church van” parked here, but that was it. We weren’t expecting to see many people out here.

Heading down to the trail from the trailhead, almost instantly you are faced with a choice: left or right? We planned on hiking clockwise, but we actually had to make a left. It makes more sense when you are looking at the map. The first 1.5 miles parallels Slate Run Rd. The trail was well maintained here, with lots of logs that looked somewhat freshly cut. The trail also parallels the river (Slate Run) here, but just out of sight mostly.

Once on the trail, it took 20-30 minutes for my GPS to find satellites and get a proper signal. It often takes a while when it’s first turned on somewhere far away from the last time it was turned on. Also, even though I had cleared all the previous trip data, my current trip odometer stated 404 miles from the start. There must have been remnants of a previous trip that didn’t get erased somehow.

After about 1.5 miles, the trail turns northwest and crosses Slate Run Rd and heads uphill. It’s a 1,000ft climb out of the gorge in less than a mile. As soon as we started heading up hill, we lost sight of the trail. We didn’t notice for a few minutes since there was a path up the drainage, but soon it faded. Rather than backtracking, we bushwhacked our way up the hill until we crossed the trail. This was pretty strenuous, especially since we were less than an hour into the first day of the hike after a 7 hour drive. On top of that, I was throwing up only 48 hours earlier from a 24 hour bug, and still not feeling 100%.

black forest trail view april 2014

Once at the top of the gorge, we had our first view. Being mid April, everything was still bare and brown, and has a way of looking rather plain. In forested areas, I personally prefer to hike when things are in bloom, when everything that lush green color. Not that I am a big fan of the heat of the summer, but that’s when I find everything to be the most beautiful. It’s funny though, because I was reading through some Black Forest Trail trip reports before this hike and came across someone who has the opposite view on this as I do… he actually prefers to hike when the trees have shed all their leaves, because of the ability to see farther.  I wasn’t able to find it again after the trip to get his exact words, but it was something along the lines of “I’ve got to get out there and hike more before everything turns into monotone green”. Monotone green? What about monotone brown, that’s better? While I can see the appeal of being able to see farther, it doesn’t make up for the lack of beauty compared to late spring/summer/early fall hiking in my mind. Ryan and I got a bit of a chuckle out of this every time we came across a vista, commenting on the monotone brown landscape. Laughs aside, we were just glad to be out here regardless of the season.

We walked by a white cabin not long after hiking out of the gorge. There was nobody here, but looked like it was maintained fairly well and still in use. Farther down the trail we ran into a group of maybe 7-10 people camping. We spoke with one of the guys for a few minutes and found out that it was his van that was parked at the trailhead. He ran a group that takes “troubled boys” out on hikes instead of them going to juvenile detention. He mentioned that he had lost his map somewhere along the trail earlier near a specific mile marker (which are only printed on the map he had). I had a GPS track of the trail to follow, but having a physical map to refer to is always nice. Especially with those mile markers.

It was now early evening and time to start looking for a campsite. Today’s high was only 45 to begin with, and the temps were starting to drop. We found a decent campsite along Little Slate Run shortly thereafter. This area had received some rain and snow in the last 48 hours, and the ground was still pretty damp in spots. There was also not a great deal of level ground for tents, but we were able to find room for two one man tents.

campsite along little slate run - black forest trail, pa

Getting a fire going was a pain tonight due to all the damp wood around, but we made it happen. Good thing too, because it was really cold. However, the fire never got very big and required constant attention. No cooking over the fire tonight. After eating some food and huddling around the fire for a while, it was time for bed around 9pm.

Day 2 – Thursday April 17th, 2014

Miles Hiked – 13.9
Route – Little Slate Run campsite to Blackberry Trail campsite

little slate run morning day 2

Last night was a calm night. The sound of Little Slate Run trickling nearby was soothing, but the bitterly cold temperatures could not be ignored. The overnight low was 24°F, well below the comfort level of my sleeping bag. I still use a cheap 30°F bag, the Silver City by Eureka. I had all my extra clothes on inside the bag last night and was still cold, mainly my feet. I really need to get a better bag, just putting it off due to the $400+ price tag of the one I want.

black forest trail pennsylvania view april

pine creek gorge in april

I didn’t eat much for breakfast, all I wanted to do was get moving and warm up. Immediately after leaving camp, the trail climbs about 900ft to the top of a ridgeline that we would follow for a while. There were a few clearings here and there with some good views of monotone brown. At one of the vistas, I found the map that belonged to the guy we spoke with last night. Man, this thing was great compared to our map! Of course, we had no way of getting this map back to the guy we saw yesterday, so we kept it for the remainder of our hike.

bft pine creek gorge

along the ridgeline above naval run

The trail on the ridgeline is actually a two tracker road for a while before heading back into the woods. The trail then starts dropping in elevation and passes through an area with a lot of downed trees. We lost the trail here for a moment, our fault by not watching for the orange blazes on the trees like we should have. We had to backtrack a little way, uphill of course. Thankfully, it was only a few minute detour and we were now descending into the right valley.

along naval run black forest trail pa

small waterfall on naval run

After hiking the switchbacks down to Naval Run, trail crosses the stream. We decided to stop here for a food break as this was the nicest spot we’d seen in a while. Still not having much appetite, I just grazed a little. There was a small waterfall here, maybe 6 feet high.

view of pine creek gorge in pa

The next section was one of the toughest climbs on the trip at around 1100ft in a mile. Although the grade may have been steep at times, the trail was always maintained well and easy to traverse. This was true for the entire length of the Black Forest Trail. Having eaten only about 25% of my normal calorie intake over the last several days, I was feeling really weak. I just couldn’t eat anything, and that’s frustrating. Ryan was also not feeling like himself, as had a more serious sickness about a week before me and was still sort of recovering. We made good time up out of the gorge but it was tiring. Fortunately, that was the last big climb of the day. Now up on another ridgeline, there were a couple of good views of the Pine Creek Gorge. This is what they call “Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon”. Impressive, but still monotone brown!

The Black Forest Trail now follows the ridgeline west towards 44. Looking at our map, we discussed our route options. We had a campsite in mind already based on mileage. But we had 2 options: hike along 44 north and then head west on the Blackberry Trail to our intended campsite, or hike the route as normal. The normal route would have us crossing 44 and continue west, in and out of the Baldwin Branch drainage, and looked longer. We figured a road walk would be much faster than our alternative, and that’s what we chose.

The ridgeline dumped us out onto Big Trail Rd, then Trout Run Rd before hitting 44. After an uneventful 2.5 mile road walk, we hit the Blackberry Trail. After following the trail west for a short distance, the trail emerges from the woods and into an open, soggy area. Our map showed the campsite along the trail as it starts to descend into a drainage just past this field. As we headed down into the drainage we heard some voices and eventually saw a group of people camping in the distance, through the trees. This was the campsite we were looking for, but it’s taken. I was a little surprised to see another group of people out here. We scouted around and found another decent site nearby. Good thing, because we were both pretty tired, and there were no more campsites in this area on the map.

bft camp night 2

The campsite was situated at the fork of two small streams, on the inner portion of the “V”. It featured an elaborate stone structure, a firepit/bench/dining area thing. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of it, as I have never seen a campsite with something as elaborate as this for a firepit.

tiadaghton state forest camping black forest trail

Ryan took a nap for an hour after setting up his tent, while I relaxed by the creek under a tree and filtered water. I grazed more heavily on my food now, which was about the only time of day I could actually eat anything.

For dinner, I cooked some italian sausages over the fire. The wood was dry enough tonight to allow a larger fire. Last night, the wood was too damp, and there was no way I would have been able to cook them then. Our stone structure kept the wind out of the fire, mostly, and gave us somewhere to sit and put our stuff.

 

Day 3 – Friday April 18th, 2014

Miles Hiked – 11.3
Route – Blackberry trail campsite to Red Run campsite

Last night was another cold night, with a low of 28°F. I did a lot better job of keeping warm last night by filling the area around my feet with spare clothing, that was a big help.

hiking the blackberry trail

pennsylvania backpacking tiadaghton state forest blackberry trail

Instead of following the BFT down to County Line Branch up up that drainage, we backtracked .7 miles to a trail (don’t recall the name) that heads north, and runs in between 44 and County Line Branch. After hiking about a mile and passing Grade Rd, we ran into a local and his daughter out for a walk. He was a nice guy, gave us some history on the area and info on the trails. We passed several cabins as the trail paralleled a road at times. Other times the trail followed an old railway. South of 44, we saw a deer near a logging area.

gorge view northern side of black forest trail

The next section of trail was rather boring. After crossing 44 again on the northern side of the loop, the trail follows close to roads and passes by many more cabins, and there isn’t much to see. There was one or two good views of the gorge but for the most part, like most of the trail, the view is obstructed by trees.

black forest trail stream

crossing a footbridge on the black forest trail

After being teased with views just out of sight for a while, the trail descends into another gorge. At the bottom is Slate Run (the creek, not the town). This was a pretty cool little area, with a few drive in campsites along the road. We took our time hiking through here, and ultimately stopped for a while near a small waterfall. Ryan wanted to jump in the water but had second thoughts after feeling the temperature. It was a nice day out now, with the sun shining and all, but still only in the low 50’s.

campsite along red run on the balck forest trail

We were thinking about campsites now at this point but were still a mile or two away from our intended site. Our map shows a campsite at the junction of Red Run and an unnamed creek at the last possible point before the trail starts heading out of the gorge again. We were starting to see more people on the trail now so we were worried about the site being available, but we found the area to be empty. However, several other groups of hikers came down the trail after we set up camp, so we may have lucked out.

red run creek black forest trail pa

waterfall on red run blackforest trail

two waterfalls tiadaghton state forest backpacking

There were two smaller, but still photographable, waterfalls next to the campsite which was pretty cool. We got to camp a bit earlier today than previous days, and actually had time to hang out and relax. The sun was hitting one of the waterfalls just right and I decided to take out my tripod and play around with manual mode on my camera. Ryan was off doing much of the same on his own, and that’s how we spent the afternoon/evening.

ryan sitting on a rock in red run

Day 4- Saturday April 19th, 2014

Miles Hiked – 7.3
Route – Red Run campsite to Slate Run trialhead

Like day 2, as soon as we hit the trail in the morning we were faced with a big climb. This one is the last of the trip, but always hard in the morning. At least it warms up the body quickly!

algerine wild area tiadaghton sf

After reaching the top of the 600’+ climb, we were presented with a nice view of the gorge below. After marveling at the monotone brown for a while we moved on.

BFT View

BFT View Day 4

Much of the trail up here today was rather boring. There were only a few scenic vistas, the majority of the trail just passed through nondescript woods. Ryan had mentioned a mine that was alongside the trail coming up, but that proved to be uninteresting as well. There was no evidence of any opening, and even the dump around the mine was just the same slate rock as everywhere else along the trail.

a huge and elaborate cairn on the black forest trail

The trail then proceeds to head downhill and towards the town of Slate Run. The trail here was an old road at one point, probably leading to the mine above. Then we passed an interesting outcrop of rocks marked by one of the most elaborate cairns I’ve ever seen. This thing was neatly constructed and huge. We dropped out packs and hung out in this area for a while, checking out the various areas tucked away behind a multitude of rock formations.

nice section of the black forest trail

a view of pine creek and slate run from the black forest trail

After leaving the rocky area behind, we saw a snake on the trail. Not sure what kind but he slithered away and we let him be. Thankfully we saw that snake because otherwise, we didn’t see crap for wildlife besides the deer yesterday. As the trail dropped in elevation even more, Pine Creek and the town of Slate Run is visible through the trees. I wish the trees would clear for a view at some point but they didn’t.

getting ready to ford slate run

Once we got down off the hill, we had one more obstacle to face before reaching the car. We still needed to ford Slate Run, which was a decent sized creek due to the recent rains. There is no bridge here which is surprising given the popularity and condition of the rest of the trail. However, I found it to be knee deep at the most, without scouting for a better crossing location.

turquise water of slate run

beautiful slate run creek

After crossing the stream, we passed some really beautiful sections of water before the trail heads up the banks. Definitely some good looking fishing holes right here, but there were also signs for fly fishing only and I believe catch and release only in one spot as well. When we made it back to the car, there were at least 10 other vehicles parked here. We saw a few guys with fly fishing gear, not sure if the rest were here to hike or what. Either way, we were glad to be back at the car and ready for some hot food!

Final Thoughts

I liked this hike, but it would have been a whole lot nicer if we had done it when everything was in bloom. I’m glad I didn’t bring my fishing gear, there really wasn’t any good spots along much of the streams except where the trail intersects Slate Run. Those spots were near the bridge on the northern crossing and where we forded the creek right before making it back to the car. There were a lot of roads, cabins, and other signs of human activity here and there along large portions of the trail. However, there were a couple of views when up on top of the gorge where I couldn’t see anything but trees.

It was nice to be able to get away for a few days and do this hike, even if it wasn’t on par with my trips out west. I was dealing with a lot of stress at the time and getting my mind off things for a few days was nice. Hiking really is great for that. No matter what I am dealing with “back in the world”, none of it matters out here.

As always, questions and comments are welcome!

If you found my trip report useful, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! Alternatively, if you feel you have any information you’d like to share with others regarding this hike, please feel free to leave that below in a comment as well.

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