dogs on leash
I went this past weekend;Saturday night thru Tuesday morning, with my cousin. We had a good time. If you just stay on the trail then there really isn't a lot of the rock cropping that people speak of. Regardless, I would do it again. The campground seemed pretty nice as well. We spent out last night there. Good place all and all. We did the entire loop.
A friend and I hiked in mid-November, so the trail was pretty empty, aside from a handful of hikers and hunters. Camp sites by lake celina can easily be found and in close proximity to the lake, but this time of year you can't use the lake for water. Lower water levels and the mud surrounding makes it impossible to get close without sinking. Other than that, the trail is enjoyable. Easily marked, and the camp space we stayed at was nice with a fire pit and some stone seats. Next time we plan to hike the trail backwards and camp at Indian lake.
Hiked the Lake Celina loop. Started at boat ramp and went clockwise around south side lake, across Dam and north along cut though to north side roadway. Nice rocks at first part. Trail was little muddy but passable. Didn't care for the clear cut areas on north end. Total trip little less than 9 miles
Paul K. on Spring Valley Trail
This trail is approximately 10 miles, if you start at the trailhead and hike around the lake. You only get to the 12+ miles by hiking the trail across the road from the trailhead. Since we were hiking with four kids, ages 2-11, we parked at the boat ramp and made the loop, for a total of right around 8 miles. We hiked counter-clockwise.
There is an established campground with about 10 sites near the boat ramp. No running water, but fire rings, picnic tables and a clean outhouse are provided. As we walked from the outhouse trailhead, we soon came to a picnic area with hitching posts and wound around to the dam. The dam is easily accessed from the road, up a long staircase. As such, it appears to be the site of partying and graffiti adorns the rocks there. Once we crossed the dam, it felt more remote.
Camping: We only encountered one informal established campsite. It was located on the lakeshore at the west end of the Buffalo Trace, where the trace runs into the water. On the map, this is where the trail takes a 90 degree turn to the northeast, directly across from the boat ramp. The site wasn’t exactly level, but not bad, and had a makeshift fire ring and logs to sit on. If you start at the trailhead, the main campground would be at the halfway point. We found a level spot off the trail to set up camp.
Water: There were plenty of opportunities for water. There was ample water to filter at each of the places that the map shows a water crossing, even though there had been little precipitation in the weeks before our trip. We also encountered several springs and smaller water sources suitable for filtering.
We met several horses/riders along the trail, as well as some day hikers. Everyone was friendly. We saw some backpackers taking a shortcut to the campground. The next day we saw the other end of that trail, as it shoots off from near the lakeshore before the trail turned away for the lake for the last time at the north end of the lake.
There were no breathtaking sights on the trail, but some remnants of days gone by, before the area was dammed and flooded. The Buffalo Trace was also an interesting site. Hills were moderate. The trail was well maintained and had only a couple of freshly fallen trees across it.