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    Charlie Newton reviewed Bill Kimball - Coldspring Branch Loop

    over 1 year ago

    This is a good workout loop that runs by a nice branch and a couple of waterfalls (which you have to go off trail to get a good view of -- there are paths already there for you to follow) It is challenging either way you go...if you take the Coldspring Branch trail first from the trail head, it is almost all downhill, but not a drastic descent, and the Bill Kimball is a gruelling gain that seems to go on forever...If you take the Bill Kimball trail first from the trail head, you have the drastic and challenging descent which is worse than going up, in my opinion, then the Coldspring Branch is a lonnnng, but not too drastic, incline out. Either way, as I said, is a workout, but I like to take the Bill Kimball last so I can take the incline, even though it is quite a handful...I had rather take the incline than the descent on that trail, personally. There are several creek crossings and there is a good chance you will get your feet wet, so waterproof shoes/boots are a good idea. There are also several large downed trees you have to go under and some you have to go over, so you have to be fairly agile. I do not recommend this loop for small children or inexperienced hikers/walkers. There are several places that can be dangerous, especially if you have grown fatigued and a little sloppy. It took us three hours to do this loop, but it could be done much quicker if you focused on the task at hand. We took our time and stopped often to make photos and sightsee. We only saw two other people on the trail the whole time we were out and it was a beautiful autumn afternoon (Sunday), so apparently this is not a heavily trafficked loop. It was great to have the place all to ourselves!

    Charlie Newton reviewed Issaqueena Lake Trail

    over 1 year ago

    This is a nice little 5-mile trail that is family friendly and easy to walk (in terms of difficulty). It is a network of trails that can be confusing if you do not know where you are going. I suggest pulling up one of the recorded maps here on AllTrails and navigating with it so you will know where you are at all times until you learn your way around. Otherwise, you really have no way of keeping your bearings once you are inside the network of trails. It's no big deal, though, since you can find your way back out fairly easily. But if you want to walk the "Issaqueena Lake Trail" as it is shown on the map, you had better use that map to navigate by because there is no way to know which trails to take...it is not common sense and the trails are not marked all the way. And the map on the board at the trail head is no help at all. You can walk on the road down to the dam if that is all you are there to see...it's about a mile and a half. If you take the Dam Rd. Trail, it's a little over two miles.
    If I were simply rating the view of the lake and dam, I would definitely give this trail 4 stars. But the fact is, this is a confusing and hard to follow trail - nearly impossible without navigation or trial and error effort - and the map at the trail head does not match the actual trail information inside the trail network. The trails are named (most of them), so you could learn them easily enough, but for someone coming out for the first few times, they are a frustrating jumble of intertwining paths that are hard to piece together and know what you will get. Still, I like this place a lot and I have already been out several times. I am already learning my way around and I can definitely see the charm that is Issaqueena. I would recommend these trails, for sure.

    Charlie Newton added Fant's Grove Loop

    over 1 year ago

    Charlie Newton completed Issaqueena Lake Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton followed Karen S

    almost 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton followed Karen S

    almost 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton reviewed Hidden Falls Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    This is a nice little trail branching off the Foothills Trail in Oconee State Park. We only met two other couples the whole time we were out, and I understand that this is fairly normal for this trail (not very heavily traveled) but I don't know for sure. I would rate the hike easy to moderate, with only a few places that might challenge the inexperienced hiker/walker. Even the "hard" hills are pretty short lived, and they are concentrated near the falls. The rest of the trail is a walk in the woods. Even if you struggle, the hike is worth the effort for the waterfall at the end. It is small, but cool. You can climb up to it if you dare, but I personally don't recommend being too daring because it can be very dangerous. It is probably best enjoyed from down below. I gave this trail four stars because it has a waterfall; otherwise I feel it is a solid three stars, simply because it is an ordinary, no-frills foot path. Other then the waterfall, this is just like any other trail with no real views or high points. I love to walk in the woods, but to me, four stars has to be more than just a walk in the woods...it was the waterfall that did it.

    Charlie Newton followed Sheila Newton

    almost 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Hidden Falls Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton added Track - Jun 20, 07:22 PM

    about 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton added Gray Diamond Loop

    about 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton reviewed Potato Chip Rock - Mt. Woodson Trail

    over 2 years ago

    This is one of my favorite local hikes. It is not an easy walk, but the reward is worth it at the top with the view and potato chip rock, which a lot of people climb out on and have photos made (pretty cool pics) The dry wind can be a factor in places so sunglasses and a cap are a good idea. If it is a warm day, it can get REALLY warm, so be sure to bring along plenty of water, and don't forget the dog bowl...this can be a long hike depending on your fitness level.
    It is interesting to note the difference in ratings between the west coast and east coast trails. This trail is rated as "moderate." This same trail on the east coast would easily be rated as "difficult" or harder.
    Be prepared for crowds on weekends and holidays, especially at the top where people are waiting to mount the rock for photo-ops. During the week is much less crowded.
    Lake Poway is awesome and you can spend time there on your way up or down for a snack or lunch, etc. This is a great place to go for a nice hike and to spend time with family and/or friends.

    Charlie Newton reviewed Fants Grove Lake Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Fants Grove Lake Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton reviewed Fants Grove Lake Trail

    over 2 years ago

    This is just one of an entire network of trails out at Fant's Grove. This is good because you can put together different trail loops to personalize your hike; you are not tied in to one trail. The trails are generally well marked and easy to navigate. There are two views: the lake and the forest. Both are nice, but it can get a little monotonous if you are used to mountain views.
    This trail, and adjoining trails, are shared by bikers and horses, which can be a little troublesome. Bikers can be rude (but so can hikers, I guess) and horses leave tracks which, when it rains, become mud holes and are a pain to work around.
    This is an easy trail and can be enjoyed by hikers of all skill levels.

    Charlie Newton reviewed Rainbow Falls Trail

    over 2 years ago

    This is a nice little out and back with the added bonus of a beautiful waterfall. There are a few tough spots but overall I think that they could have gone with a "moderate" rating and been safe. Slow and steady and even an inexperienced hiker can enjoy this one. Just to be clear though, there ARE some hard stretches, so be prepared.
    There are a couple of water crossings, which is nice, and some good views, including large rocks. There are places at the very top, right at the base of the falls that you can climb to and have a snack or just hang out, but you have to climb to them and they are easy to miss if you don't look for them because you reach a point that appears to be the end of the trail down below the base of the falls. At the very top, you can actually get behind the falls, so don't miss the opportunity to make that last little climb up to the base where there are places to sit and relax.
    If you are going on a weekend or a holiday, go early because parking at Jones Gap is limited and they do fill up. When they fill up, there is a ranger out at the gate and he won't let another car in until one comes out. You could be in for a long wait, but it's worth the wait if you aren't too far back in line.
    Have a great hike and enjoy Rainbow Falls!

    Charlie Newton reviewed Brissy Ridge

    over 2 years ago

    Went back today (Wednesday) and this trail was a completely different experience. There were zero people on the trail, and this changed the dynamic of the hike considerably - especially not having bikers. It was really cold - 30's - but it was a good time. I highly recommend getting out during the week if you can.

    Charlie Newton reviewed Rim of the Gap Trail

    over 2 years ago

    This trail is not for the faint of heart or the novice hiker. It is a raw, balls-to-the-wall, potentially dangerous dance with the elements that will challenge even the fittest hiker, and you will quickly find out what I mean when you get in to it a little ways.
    That said, this trail offers beautiful views of the gap in winter...my favorite time to go. There are technical aides in place to help you along (ladders, ropes), but there are also places where the trail runs along the rim with sheer drops mere inches away, so you have to be smart and alert and safe. You will not encounter a lot of traffic on this trail because it is too difficult for the average hiker, and for whatever reason, people seem to know this.
    The entire trail is not super hard, but for the portions that are, be ready to work because it truly is a handful. All the more reason to feel good once you have hiked it.
    Enjoy!

    Charlie Newton reviewed Brissy Ridge

    over 2 years ago

    This is a fun little trail for folks who don't want a lot of time investment since it is only a little over 2 miles and can be hiked by virtually all skill levels. It is rated "hard," and there are a few places where you have to work a bit, but personally, I think it is more deserving of a "moderate" rating. Even inexperienced hikers can negotiate this trail if they take their time and don't let it get in their head.
    If you go on a weekend especially, expect to share the trail with lots of bikers. This is a bit of a pain, but it is part of the deal so just accept it and enjoy your time on trail. There is one part of the trail where only hikers are allowed - no bikers, so enjoy that when you come to it. There are some nice views in winter that are not available any other time.
    Enjoy!

    Charlie Newton completed Brissy Ridge

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton added 'Want To' List

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Pinnacle Pass Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Naturaland Trust Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Pinnacle Pass

    over 2 years ago

    Charlie Newton completed Pinnacle Mountain Trail

    over 2 years ago