Hiking Journal


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Welcome to my hiking journal. I’m going to use this page as a collection point for my posts concerning one of my favorite leasure activities – hiking and camping. It’s something I’ve been involved with off and on for most of my life and as I get older, hope to pass on to my daughter. I’m lucky because not only does my wife also enjoy it, she’s been a huge motivator in keeping me involved even as our lives continue to get more and more complicated.

Apr
21
2010

Myakka State Park, FL


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Making friends with the locals ...Friday – Saturday 4/2/10
Trip: 16.0 miles (plus another 3 mile road hike back to car)
Elevation: 128ft (max) 42ft (min) ~210ft (total accent)
Time: ~8 hours total hiking
Temperature: 85 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear, no precipitation, low humidity
Pack Weight: ~24lbs (overnight load)

Summary:

Myakka State Park is pretty typical for a South Florida lake/wetland. Full of wild life, flooded during the rainy season and miles of densely packed palmetto scrub brush with the occasional island of mossy oak or scrub pine. Oh and it gets hot. Really hot. And muggy if the humidity is up. Did I mention mosquitoes? But if you’re lucky and you time your trip right, hiking in South Florida can be rather pleasant. Myakka is close to the Gulf so in the spring when the sun starts to set, a nice breeze kicks up keeping most of the evening bugs at bay and provides some relief from the afternoon heat. The only real issue is dodging around days or weeks when the spring rains have flooded the low lands, basically putting everything under 2-3 inches of standing water. We managed to get everything but dry trail so I can’t complain too much about the trip.
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Jul
21
2009

Little River Trail


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Sunday 7/19/09
Trip: 6.36 miles
Elevation: 3003ft (max) 1975ft (min) ~1194ft (total accent)
Time: 3h 15m
Temperature: 75 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear, no precipitation, low humidity
Pack Weight: ~31lbs (Madeline in her carry pack)

Summary:

The Little River Trail is just one of about 40 or so easy, single day hiking trails located in the northern section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mel and I were in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. for a friend’s wedding and decided on spending our final afternoon hiking. A quick conversation with a Ranger at the north entrance welcome center and we were off for Elkmont and the Little River Trail. The Little River Trail is well groomed and graded (more like a narrow gravel road) and follows the Little River for several miles. Roughly 2.4 miles up the trail is the Cucumber Gap trail head. This trail takes a more aggressive climb back towards the Elkmont camping area via the back side of Burnt Mountain but makes for a great ~5 mile loop. Perfect hiking weather and great views of the Little River made for a nice day hike with the family.

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Mar
16
2009

Sweetwater Creek


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Saturday 2/14/09
Trip: 4.24 miles
Elevation: 1020ft (max) 820ft (min) ~388ft (total accent)
Time: 2h 15m
Temperature: 75 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear, no precipitation, low humidity
Pack Weight: ~10lbs (day pack load)

Summary:

Sweetwater Creek is a small park about 20 minutes west on I-20 from downtown Atlanta. It’s tucked away in the middle of a residential area and has two decent size lakes and a wide, quick flowing creek/river. The largest trail loop runs along the edge of the creek for about 40% of the total distance. Well groomed and clearly marked, there’s a good mix of small rock scrambles creek side and then a short elevation climb up out of the creek basin. Definately a great strech-the-legs-after-a-long-winter type of hike.

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Sep
22
2008

Len Foote Hike Inn (Day 2)


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Saturday 9/20/08
Trip: 5.2 miles
Elevation: 3400ft (max) 2890ft (min) ~800ft (total accent)
Time: 3h 15m
Temperature: 80 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear, no precipitation, low humidity
Pack Weight: ~30lbs (overnight lodge hike)
Pics
Summary:

After our stay at The Len Foote Hike Inn Friday night, we decided as a group to avoid a backtrack and take the Hike Inn Trail another quarter mile north. It dead-ends into the Appalachian Approach Trail. You have two options at this point – hike north another 3-4 miles to the top of Springer Mountain (and the official start of the Appalachian Trail) or hike south back down the hill towards Amacalola Falls and the parking lot.

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Sep
22
2008

Len Foote Hike Inn (Day 1)


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1868

Friday 9/19/08
Trip: ~5 miles
Elevation: 3050ft (max) 2990ft (min) ~750ft (total accent)
Time: 3h 20m
Temperature: 80 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear skies, no precipitation, low humidity
Pack Weight: ~30lbs (overnight lodge hike)

Summary:

The Len Foote Hike Inn is only accessible via a 5 mile hike up Springer Mountain. After checking in with the Amicalola Ranger station, you park at the top of the falls and pick up the trail head on the opposite side of the parking lot. 200 yards or so off the start, the trail splits – taking the right fork leads up the Inn, the left fork will eventually spit you out on top of Springer Mountain (which is also the official start of the Appalachian Trail).

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Aug
25
2008

Stone Mountain, GA – Summit Trail


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Sunday 8/17/08
Trip: ~3 miles
Elevation: 1686ft (max) 1025ft (min) 761ft (total accent)
Time: 1h 11m
Temperature: 85 F
Wind: Light breeze
Conditions: Clear, hummid, no precipitation
Pack Weight: <10lbs (day hike)

Summary:

This is one of my “workout” tracks I like to do at [Stone Mountain State Park]. You launch straight up right from the trail head and don’t stop until you reach the public pavilion at the summit (refreshments and bathrooms available). Unlike [Kennesaw Mountain], the entire track is over natural granite exposed on the mountain’s western face. Technically, it’s an easy hike with little or no boulder scrambles but it can be taken at any speed with as much or as little pack load as you want so it offers a versatile workout for all levels.

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