DISTANCE
8.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,584 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

blowdown

muddy

over grown

hiking
11 months ago

First part of this hike was delightful. Great views, open plain and easy uphill to Deep Gap. The continuing section on the AT was also fine and the right turn onto Elk Garden was pleasant. Saw several wild ponies roaming. The going underfoot changed to stony rocky trail commensurate with the fact that this was also a horse trail. We decided to add an extra loop by turning left onto Heron Creek. What a mistake that was! The trail was overgrown and boggy in places. There was also some blowdown. Literally there was nothing redeeming in the trail. We cut our losses by turning right at the junction with Sugar Maple trail rather than adding to the torture. The going improved and there was a whoop of relief to reach the Spur trail that would intersect back with Elk Garden. However that meant crossing over the creek. No small feat. Have gaiters or prepare to wade in bare feet. There was no easy place to cross. The going after was uphill though a gentle climb. Parts were v boggy with lots more blowdown. Eventually you reach a gate and just a little further a sign denoting the Spur which well and truly notifies you that you are back at last on Elk Garden. I had wondered by the absence of any trail markings that this might have been a hidden gem, sadly the added loop offered nothing then sodden boots! I have posted the hike more as a buyer beware...the rest of this shortish loop is pleasant enough but you won't be missing out if you miss out Heron Creek trail.