Shorter Than Planned

Reading Time: 18 minutes I planned out a 22.5 mile hike and started my long drive in the darkness of early morning. At 6:40 am I pulled my car to the side of South Canada Hill Road and started my hike a few minutes later. The trail climbed up to the top of the hill and then descended down the other side. A swarm of deer flies attacked me as I neared Fancy Track Road and I had to swat and move fast to keep from getting bitten. I crossed an old railroad track and stopped to take photos of the track as it faded into the distance.

Another climb took me up up past a memorial trail register and then down across a series of boardwalks, down a staircase, and across a footbridge over a small stream. The trail continued on up to the top of the hill and presented me with an incredible panorama as I waded up through the field of tall grass. The trail descended to Brennen Road where I snacked on some wild strawberries.

I continued on up a hollow to Irish Hill Road then descended down through a logging skid to Cotter Road. The trail leaving Cotter Road was difficult to follow with blazes not clearly visible. I climbed up a steep slope after crossing a small stream. The trail continued on around a hill and then descended to parallel US 219. The path was rocky, muddy, and slippery and I struggled my way along until I finally came to the US 219 crossing.

Once across the busy road I made my way down to the stream crossing through shoulder-high weeds. At the bottom of the descent I came to an impassable crossing. The stream had flooded and there was no way to continue on. Disappointed I turned back before reaching my planned goal.

I made my way back up, crossed over US 219, and then along the difficult path. I trudged up Cotter Road and paused for a break in a staging area for a logging operation. After a break I started another climb up Irish Hill. I continued on and once again stopped at Brennan Road for a few wild strawberries. Another break on a tractor path leading to the field at the top of the hill.

Two dogs coming down the trail gave me a fright and they retreated in front of me as I made my way up to the field. I crossed the small stream, climbed the staircase, and crossed the boardwalks. Soon I was back on Fancy Track Road and turning off on the last leg to S. Canada Hill Road.

Just after leaving Fancy Track Road I encountered another hiker who had gotten turned around. She was going the same direction I was so we walked together. Three times we lost our way and had to backtrack. Finally we came to the field above South Canada Hill Road and made our way down.