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Author Topic: Salt Fork State Park  (Read 9304 times)
kathyonbt
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« on: August 20, 2013, 06:42:46 PM »

Took on the trail through Salt Fork last weekend.  Started at the north end off the forest road and hiked south toward the group camp (pts 5 to 6).
I walked further than that, of course, but just want to comment about that part.

Started early in the morning to plants covered in dew.  Started in along the game break and almost immediately came to a wide area with a small field to the right.  Which way?
Went off to the right and didn't see a blaze at the trees so I came back and tried off straight and a little to the left.  A bit further on I did find blue.  OK, going in the right direction.
There are wide spots along the way and openings to the right and left.  It's not easy to find places to blaze along the route as a lot of the trees are shrubby and things on the ground will be swallowed by plant life.  You go mostly straight.
The corridor for the trail is generally wide but narrows in a few spots.  At times the trail seems almost mowed.  At other times the plants are waist high or better.  (At least, at this time of year).  If you know what you're looking for you can usually pick up the faint trace on the ground.  Blazes are somewhat infrequent due to plant life or perhaps were obscured.

If given a choice where the trail may split to the left or right, choose left (when travelling south).  There was only one instance where the trail went right at the split.
There is a large meadow probably half a mile before you get to the group camping area and I backed up to see if there was a turn blaze.  Nope.  So, go downslope along the edge of the treeline (trees on your left, meadows on the right).

Tree down in the swampy area near the end that you can get around without stepping in water.  Almost at the end the trail splits (kindof), left and straight.  The straight trail narrows and kindof peters out.  The left trail almost looks mowed and is wide but fills with tall plants before you get to the group camp.
Sat down on a bench to take a break and the mosquitoes came to get me.

Took me just under an hour and a half to make it through and was soaked to the thighs from the dew.  Had wet feet for the same reason early on in the hike.  Generally a ridge walk but not much in the way of a view.  A few downed trees (maybe 5 or 6) but nothing bad.

And I didn't see Bigfoot.   Cry
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Kathy On BT 
"Not all who wander are lost."
Finished 8/30/2013 and going around again
Pedologist
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 07:40:59 PM »

Posts like this one are really helpful to me. I plan to finish my 18th section map next week and begin (on the W end of) the New Straitsville section. Recently, I used the Trail Talk's search function for posts about the New Straitsville section and learned a lot about where I'm most likely to have difficulty following the blue blazes there. My progress has slowed since I moved to central MD in 2011, but I still hope to finish by sometime in '17 or '18. I've finished the Bowerston section, but I'm holding off on the Belle Valley section until the 2005 map is replaced. I'm hoping that the challenges cited in this post are gone by the time I hike at Salt Fork, but advice offered in the post just might save me some time wandering in search of the next blaze. Thanks for sharing it.
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1,168 miles completed, including all sections in the main loop.
kathyonbt
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 06:11:36 PM »

Glad to hear it, Pedologist.  Happy to help.
This is why I post the good, bad, and other.  Good luck getting to the other end. 
I'm almost done - took me 8 1/2 years and I live in Ohio.
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Kathy On BT 
"Not all who wander are lost."
Finished 8/30/2013 and going around again
Pedologist
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 08:45:56 PM »

I tried to find the trail between Pt. 5 and Pt. 6 on the Belle Valley section over the weekend, and I missed the 10' to 20' "game break" opening into the woods from the open corridor near Pt. 5. When I hiked back from the group camp area (Pt. 6), the trail was obvious. The first blaze I saw on the second try was ~200' into the woods, although there may have been one or two others closer that were obscured by vegetation. The one detail I overlooked in the description of the trail was that the ridge top UNDULATES. I saw the opening into the woods but rejected it because it went downhill and so I thought it couldn't be following the ridge. If I had looked at the USGS topo map for that particular place, it would have been obvious. Anyhow, I hope this helps someone else.
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1,168 miles completed, including all sections in the main loop.
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