Later in January, my brother and I decided to hike a loop of trails in Amicalola State Park. We got to the park, and he rather ingeniously took a picture of the map at the visitor's center, since I wasn't able to get enough signal to download one. Looking at the map, we decided to start off on the Spring trail, which leads down to the Mountain Laurel Trail (called the Green Mountain trail in my hiking guides). The trail ends at the Creek trail, which continues the loop over to the Appalachian Approach Trail, which goes up to the falls.
So, in mid-January, I headed over to Caesar's Head State Park, to do some more hiking in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, north of Greenville, SC. This is the same area as the Frank Coggins Trail, which I have done a few times. On this occasion, I decided upon the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, a moderate 2.2-mile trail.
To start off my hiking in 2013, I returned to the place I started this blog with, the Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area. In my first blog post, I described my hike along the Raven Rock Trail. The trailheads for the Raven Rock Trail are off of the Natural Bridge Trail, a moderate trail that takes just under an hour to travel. The main feature of the Natural Bridge Trail is, as one would expect, a rock bridge that traverses one of the creeks that can be seen along the trail. Overall, the trail is pretty moderate, although there is a rather strenuous segment near the end to be aware of.
For my last hike of 2012, I took a relatively short hike just outside of Pickens, SC. The hike was the Glassy Mountain Hike, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust program. Apparently, this trail had been closed for the fall of 2012, as it was cleaned up and new erosion controls were put down.
One weekend towards the end of fall, I was rushing to get my hiking fix, and almost didn't make it before the sun went down. I returned to a favorite hike in Caesar's Head State Park, the Frank Coggins Trail. This trail is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, situated near the end of the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, Highway 11, north of Greenville. The trail is a moderate, hour-long trail, and it is a beginning to many of the other trails in the area.
The Bear Hair Gap Trail is part of the network of trails in Vogel State Park, nestled in the North Georgia mountains, part of the Blood Mountain region. This is a trail of moderate difficulty, winding up and around the hills. This trip along the trail was in late fall, and most of the leaves had left the trees, but you could still see splashes of color across the hills, especially when seen from the overlook spur trail that provides a gorgeous view of the park, centered by Lake Trahlyta.
I took a rather challenging hike, this time around, up in the foothills of upstate South Carolina. I had been to Table Rock State Park before, to go on the Carrick Creek Loop Trail. However, this time, I decided to go for the summit of Table Rock itself. Climbing to the top of Table Rock was worth the work, but it was a more strenuous hike than I had done in while. The hike is just a bit over 3 miles to the actual summit, with another half-mile or so to a fantastic view that is worth it, if you still have the energy.
In mid-September, my wife and I took a trip out to Portland, Oregon for a week, for a vacation. Besides getting the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with family up there, we took the opportunity to do a little hiking around the Portland area. The three hikes we took during that week are the Lower Maple Trail Loop in Forest Park, the Oak Island Trail on Sauvie Island, and Horsetail Falls along the Columbia River Gorge.