This trail is a connector to Auxier Ridge Trail #204. Making for a decision to do an out and back or a loop hike. In my opinion, which you will know if you read my last blog post, I highly recommend doing the loop because the views on Auxier Ridge are absolutely stunning. And if I got my calculations right, either way you will be hiking a total of 5 miles.
I'm sorry the quality of the map isn't the greatest, but I wanted you to see exactly where this trail is. The parking area is decent size and also has a bathroom.
The reason I consider this trail difficult is mainly because of how you get onto the trail...from either end! If you hike the Auxier Ridge Trail to the end and get on it there, it is about a 3'-4' drop, instantly. I honestly questioned if it was the trail or not because it looked extremely difficult to get down. But, there was a couple who just came up it, with their trekking poles, mind you. So I had my typical thought, 'if they can do it, I can do it!' And I did! Then I remembered that I didn't get a picture of the sign. Argh! So instead of figuring out how in the world I was going to climb back up that mess, I just lifted my phone in the air and snapped this picture. It gives you an idea of how far down I am and how fast I got to that point. Maybe someday soon we will have steps put in there.
For about .2 miles you are actually still on the Auxier Ridge Trail. But soon you will come to a split that will take you on the Courthouse Trail #202 (on the left) or the Double Arch Trail #201 (on the right). I'm thinking my next hike will be the Double Arch Trail.
As I got onto the trail and all along the way I couldn't help but feel I was in fairyland. The pretty spring flowers are in bloom...beautiful ferns everywhere...and lizards. I can't tell you how many times I got a little spring in my step because of hearing the little guys rustling through the dry leaves or scurrying up a tree and even running across the path right in front of me. After I realize it's not a snake I go back to my normal pace...hee, hee! Because of the grass growing on the trail in spots, it makes me think it isn't a very popular trail. And if I am honest, it is going down as one of my least favorite. Not only is is a pretty hard trail because of the incline, but there is just nothing to look at. Nothing that catches your eye. And by now you know that I love seeing awesome things and taking pictures. But if you are wanting a peaceful, quiet walk in the woods and are up to a good workout, then this trail is for you.
I did enjoy seeing all the wildflowers and the little grove of Bigleaf Magnolias towards the end of the trail. And you know? Just the fact that I was outside in the forest still makes it a great trail.
It is getting time to add a few things to your pack when you head out. Bug spray and more water. I can't stress enough about being safe out on these trails. Some things I always have in my backpack are: wallet, keys, phone, plenty of water, a couple Cliff Bars, chapstick, knife, whistle, maps and a small first aid kit. I'm sure there are more things I should pack but I feel I have a good start. I would love to hear what's in your backpack!
Also, whether you are hiking alone or with someone, always make sure someone knows what trail you are taking. This last week I even went into detail letting my husband know I was starting on Auxier Ridge and coming back on the Courthouse Trail. As much as you think you are invincible, accidents happen. And hopefully it never does, but better to be safe than sorry. I just want y'all to be safe!
So hopefully you can get out sometime soon and enjoy our beautiful Red River Gorge or other trails around our area! Have fun and be safe! Don't forget that camera! And remember...
'Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.' - John Muir