|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Valley Way, Air Line, The Link, Amphibranch, King Ravine Trail, Subway, Ice Caves Loop, Gulfside, Loweâ€™s Path, Spur Trail, Knights Castle Spur, Randolph Path, Sylvan Way, Maple Walk|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, July 7, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Many cars there on a Tuesday morning but still plenty of parking. Mostly empty but 8pm when we returned. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||None that required wading but a few that required some thought and were a bit tricky as a rock hop. These were one or two of the crossings of Cold Branch in King Ravine shortly before meeting Short Line and Mossy Falls I believe. The crossing of Spur Brook on Spur Trail was pretty easy but I think had some wet, mossy rocks to be careful of and was on a bit of a cascade or ledge if I remember correctly so Iâ€™d avoid this hike in high water. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||When I hike with someone else and have good conversation I tend to forget to watch for these things, sorry. I think, as it generally goes, trails connected to the AT were blazed in blue, and ones that donâ€™t are blazed in yellow which was pretty much everything we were on except very, very short pieces of trail we were on like Valley Way, Air Aline, Loweâ€™s Path, Randolph Path, and Gulfside (AT). The one exception to this I recall is King Ravine above tree line which is blazed in dark orange (I believe this was the case with both the Subway and the Ice Caves too). The trails down low also seemed to be blazed a bit better than the ones at elevation. I donâ€™t recall any hard to follow sections although you definitely have to look around for orange blazes at times on the Subway, Ice Caves, and King Ravine bit they are definitely there and regular. Signage was good. Not many blowdowns Iâ€™m recalling but I do remember seeing some later in the day. |
||This is not an appropriate or safe hike for dogs. We met a father and son that had to turn back on King Ravine Trail (before reaching the head wall I believe) because there dog was having trouble. Good decision. He claimed that heâ€™d meant to be on Air Line though...either very, very clueless (he had Gaia and passed MANY signs that said King Ravine Trail on them and nothing about Air Line in the immediate vicinity of where we saw him) or was trying to save face. They then tried to take the dog up Chemin des Dames which my friend advised them not to do. We could hear them having trouble partway up the head wall. I think they may have lost the dog. Please, oh god please, donâ€™t torture your dog like that. I hope the dog is safe. |
||Put bug spray on at the start as they were annoying but not too bad after that. Only reapplies once, maybe twice I think. |
|Lost and Found:
||Appalachia â€”> The Link â€”> Amphibranch â€”> King Ravine Trail (including the Subway and Ice Caves and out-and-back on the sections of the main trail we missed) â€”> Air Line Trail â€”> Gulfside Trail â€”> Loweâ€™s Path â€”> Spur Trail (including spurs to Knights Casrle, Lower Crag, and Chandler Falls) â€”> Randolph Path â€”> King Ravine Trail â€”> Loweâ€™s Path â€”> The Link â€”> Sylvan Way â€”> Maple Walk â€”> Valley Way to Appalachia. |
The hike, including spurs, I estimated to be 12.3mi with about 4500ft of gain. For redlining, all spurs were easy enough to see if you were looking. I think the three on Spur Trail were all signed but facing the opposite direction. Just keep an eye out and you should be fine. Very glad to do this hike with another redliner as I wouldnâ€™t have loved doing the Subway and some parts of Kings Ravine alone. Definitely some challenging boulder hopping on the Subway and shortly before it on Kings Ravine Trail. Definitely need to have some agility. The Ice Caves were less challenging but also had some scrambles. Personally, it was the boulder hopping that I found challenging and scary at times (this was both on the Subway and shortly before it on Kings Ravine Trail as you approach the ravine) not the head wall. The head wall is steep and grueling but not very scary in my opinion. Just be careful if around others as there are some sections closer to the top with smaller rocks and loose gravel that can get kicked down.
Mostly dry trail but some more significant mud mostly or all on King Ravine Trail (part between Loweâ€™s Path and Short Line) and some running water on the trail shortly before Moss Falls. Some wet, mossy rocks in the area mostly on the Subway and Ice Caves too. Note that while the main (elevated) trail is much easier than the Subway, the part that bypasses the ice caves was actually almost more tedious than the ice caves in my opinion.
Great day to be above tree line with a nice mix of sun and shade and minimal wind. Felt hot as hell but actually fairly cool. Nice to meet some fellow redliners as well :)
||Liam Cooney |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.