Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fiery Gizzard scouting hike

For an upcoming long hike, a few of us did a scouting hike to Fiery Gizzard. First we hiked the Grundy Forest Loop, a 2-mile trail that provides access to the Fiery Gizzard Trail. To the FG trail is either .7 or 1.3 miles; we agreed that the .7-mile segment was much prettier, so there was no value to adding extra mileage. The loop itself is rather nice. There was a great deal more water than the last time we'd been there, and we had a few wet stream crossings.
Next we drove to the other end of the FG trail to check out the Foster Falls climbing loop. It's another 2-mile loop created to give rock climbers access to the bluffs. However, in this case the longer portion of the access to FG was much, much better. The bluffs are impressive, and Foster Falls was much larger than I anticipated. This section of the loop is also more difficult, however, so for the upcoming through trip I'll see how everyone feels when we get to the junction.
Our third short hike was only 1.5 miles and mostly flat, but it was still intriguing. The Lone Rock Trail at Grundy Lakes State Park circles the lake and passes by many of the old coke ovens. These are left over from a coal mining operation of the late 1800s. It was run with convict labor, and it sure doesn't look like it would have been fun to operate a hot fire in the summertime.

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