Reviewed by SCgregg1 on August 7, 2010
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This was an almost unreal hike. It was like walking through an ancient time...made easy by a pretty good gravel road. I was on the 5 mile trail for 3 hours and I saw 5 whitetail deer, 1 red-shouldered hawk, 1 cardinal, several small song birds, hundreds of butterflies and dragonflies, and 1 very large cottonmouth snake. I can imagine what I would have seen if I spent more time on the trial, so guess what I'm doing tomorrow. That's right!
The condition of the road was very good. I did have to wade in about 3 inches of water a few times but the shallow, 3 inch deep water was right in the middle of the road and the bottom was firm. Walking in the middle of the road in wet areas is a good idea because you can see what's around you. I'm talking snake vigilance here.
Interesting things are everywhere along this trail. Probably the most interesting thing is the old Civilian Conservation Corps camp site. This is where the young men lived while they were working on Lee State Park. The only structure still remaining at the site is the elevated outhouse. Pretty cool.
There is a picnic table at the site and it was nice to take a short rest there. The site is just a little bit beyond the half-way point of the hike.
Shortly after the CCC camp, the trail gets very wild. The road is good, and open, and dry but this is the area that felt very primeval to me. It is also where I saw the cottonmouth. Care should be exercised in this area.
This hike, in summary, is beyond getting back to nature, or getting in touch with nature. This hike is getting back to an older nature. One that is a little less disturbed by Man.
LOGISTICS: There are options for doing this trail. What I did today was start at the Youth Group Camping Area and complete the hike from there. You can also start at the fee station.
If you want to do a shorter hike, and only see the wildest part of the trail, you can park near the 4-way stop on Park Road and start walking Loop Road beyond the gate. After about a mile, you'll be into it...big time. Bring your camera!
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