Saturday, June 9, 2007

Volunteer Trail hike

I tried to go to yoga this morning at the gym, but the class had been permanently canceled. It's a shame because it was a good class, but attendance was poor - I know myself that a lot of Saturday mornings I have other things going on. So since I was wearing sandals instead of proper footwear, I went home and decided to go for a hike instead.

I wanted a long hike, not too far away, since it was already 9:30. I decided to hike the Volunteer Trail at Long Hunter State Park. This six-mile trail is supposed to be for backpacking, as it ends at a campsite. Actually, the length seems to be in dispute; the offical map calls it 5.5 in one place and 6 in another, but either way, it's still short enough to dayhike.

I had done the beginning of it before - almost exactly a year before, randomly - as part of a loop, but I remembered it as being more challenging than it was. The trail is almost entirely flat. Most of it follows Percy Priest Lake (impounded, of course). On the way out, I was pleasantly suprised by the trail. A lot of folks were out boating, and it was a nice change of pace to do a hike that didn't segregate hiking from other human activity. The views of the lake, not to mention the cedar glades, were attractive, even if not spectacular.

About a mile from the end of the trail, I was surprised to find a skull in the middle of the trail. I have no idea what sort of animal it is, other than a medium-sized mammal, which is awfully non-specific.

The trail ends with a whimper - you reach the campsites. Presumably the property line is nearby, because there is no natural sight that makes it a logical end point. No one was camping. On the way back, I noticed a lot more boaters had come out. At one inlet, there was an amazing number of boats having (apparently) a really raucous party. The noise carried for over a mile. That wasn't as cool.

As usual, of course, there are more pictures if you click on the photo. Most of them are of living things, not dead ones, I promise.

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