Sunday, December 11, 2011

Green Trail to Peavine Falls

We actually got to go for a hike today.  Gene’s back is not well, but greatly improved.

Oak Mountain State Park has a number of trails of varying lengths.  The trails are named and color coded.  Individual trails are linear, but have connectors which lead to other trails.  With a little imagination, loops can be created using trails and their connectors.

For our hike today we chose the Green Trail (Peavine Trail) to Peavine Falls.  The Green Trail is 1.9 miles in length and runs between Peavine Parking lot and the Park Office.  To get to Peavine Falls, we used the Green-White connector to get to the White Trail which leads to the top of the falls for an out and back hike of 4 miles.
Green Blaze marks the Green (Peavine) Trail

We started our hike at the Park Office.  Actually, the trailhead parking lot is next door to the Park Office and across the street from Wildlife Center Trail.  The Green Trail starts just a few yards from the Wildlife Center Trail and begins with a pretty steep climb to the top of the first hill then drops down about 100 feet to the junction with the Yellow, Orange, and Red Trails.

The Red Trail is the mountain bike trail and is the longest of all the trails.  It weaves back and forth and we had to cross it several times.  This was a nice day to be in the woods and there were several bikers out on the Red Trail.  Extreme caution needed to be used when crossing the Red Trail.
Peavine Branch

After this major trail junction, we started the very steep climb to the North ridge of Oak Mountain.  Near the top of the ridge, the Green Trail again junctions with the Red Trail and follows it for several yards before turning left and continuing to the top of North Ridge.  Once on the ridge we had a pleasant, nearly flat walk for about a half mile to our connector trail.  The connector descends steeply to Peavine Branch then follows the White trail to the top of the falls.
Peavine Falls

We were somewhat disappointed once we got to the falls.  Our trail led to the top of the falls and there didn’t seem to be a very easy way to the bottom.  I never could get a real good view of the falls.  The photo I made was from a position much closer to the edge than I like to be and then holding the camera out as far as my arm would stretch.
The rock I was hanging over to get the photo.

That little disappointment aside, we really enjoyed the hike.  The trail was very well marked except at a few trail junctions where another blaze or two would have been helpful.  The tread way was good, mostly dirt with a few rocks, and the trail was well maintained.  We liked the more vigorous workout we got on this trail.  It’s rated moderate to difficult due to the 700 foot elevation gain in just over a mile.  Proved to us we’re not ready for mountain hiking yet.
Top of the falls

I carried a heavy pack today and my knees are already scolding me for that.  I even wore knee braces.  Probably would have had some real pain, if I hadn’t.  No one can accuse me of being an ultralight hiker.  I decided to take my Canon SLR with the 300 mm lens just in case I had a photo op at the waterfall.  Not wanting to risk damaging the camera or the lens, I tucked them securely inside their carrying case and then put the whole thing in my pack.  Add car keys, a wallet, the 10 essentials, and a fleece jacket and my pack weighed a ton.  No wonder my knees are complaining.  And, as it turned out, I never took the camera out of my pack.  All the photos were made with my little Canon Power Shot.
Peavine Branch

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

1 comment:

  1. just call yourself a 'sherpa'!!..nice day for a hike!!