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Author Topic: Wayne National Forest - Whipple Section pts 1 to 2.5 and 5 to 6  (Read 2357 times)
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« on: April 21, 2013, 02:06:38 PM »

From previous reports, I was scared about what I was going to find this spring when I hit the WNF trails.  I want to get the walks in earlier rather than later in the season.  However, spring turkey hunting is going to stop me for a bit now.

I was somewhat pleasantly surprised as I followed the trail from the trailhead between points 1 and 2 - the trail was pretty easy to follow, although a lot of the blue diamonds were laying on the ground.  The first climb had me wondering as it was a full on, straight up assault.  The second climb had switchbacks.  Got a little concerned when I hit a stream with a pretty little waterfall as the markers disappeared but I followed along a bit further past the old tanks and found the crossing.  Some trees down just before you get to point 2, but not bad to get around.  I have an old map so I don't know if corrections have been made but my GPS gave me 3.1 miles between points 1 and 2 (not the 2.3 miles on the map).  I went a bit farther towards point three and made it to where the trail met up with CR9 about a mile past pt.2. 

As for points 5 to 6 - OMG!  It was a nice start, if a little slick from the recent rains.  Many of the trees bearing blue diamonds were down.  As I started downslope, past the ruins, I missed a turn with a downed tree.  Looked around a bit and found the way to go.  This area is not for the faint of heart or anyone with balance issues.  The switchbacks are thin, slick, and a slide will dump you right into the river.  I slid a couple of times and seriously considered backing out (just didn't feel like making the climb back out).  However, I made it to the bottom where the trail was just a narrow strip against the bank.  Nice rocks and the trilliums were marvelous but..
The narrow trail just beside the river had two or three downed trees that made it difficult to get by.  Had to scramble.
The flood plain then widened and I followed along until the trail disappeared.  No blue diamonds.  No blue blazes.  In fact I couldn't remember seeing blue since the top of the switchbacks.  Passed by where some downed trees had been cut so I figured I was still on the trail but the trail just petered out.  Was I just on a game trail?
Looked upslope some and found another beaten path and followed that a ways until it, too, died out.
That was it, I was done.
I found a gully and started bushwhacking upslope toward the road as the area is difficult to get out of.  Maybe I missed a turn and would catch the trail on the way up?  Nope.
It was probably about a mile out and a few hundred feet up.  Finally got to a haul road and followed it out to just east of an abandoned house (only one on the road).  I then hiked back to my car.
I thank the GPS gods for getting me out.

Not sure about the rest as some of the spots I've scouted don't look too good.  I'll probably give it one more try but will likely end up road walking around a lot of the trails here.

Kathy On BT 
"Not all who wander are lost."
Finished 8/30/2013 and going around again
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