Sat, Apr 3 2004 - Beginners Hike at Best of Fort Mountain Park (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Erin E. Brown, Kitty Roberts, Don Norton (Chicken Feathers), Steve DeMarle, Meghna Gupta, Amanda Stone, Meghna Gupta, Nitin Bhansal, Sarah Leatham, Amanda Stone, Mat Fatland, Wendel Griffis, Christine Michelle Prasnik, Kyle D. Barrow, Steven Koonce|
It was literally a perfect hike. Thirteen people signed up and thirteen people showed up at the Marriott Hotel parking lot by a little after 9 AM. It was clear and there was a slight chill in the air. We carpooled up to Fort Mountain State and then reassembled by the trailhead by 11 o’clock. Once again the weather at the park was perfect
The trails by the Old Fort section of the park are excellent for “wandering”. The total length of all the trails in this section is no more than two or three miles. The leader made a slight wrong turn, and the group hiked an extra couple of hundred feet. However we finally made it to the West Overlook and were rewarded with a great view of the valley. No one was in a hurry to leave. We then hike a little more and made it too the Stone Wall. This is where the park gets its name. To this day, there is no conclusive explanation on whom, when or why assembled these thousands of boulders to form a fortification. After staying a few minute hiked back to our cars. There were some picnic tables and we had lunch.
However we were far from through. Everyone drove their cars to the campground area, parked their cars and started on the second part of our hike. We started on the Big Rock Trail and then went on the part of the Gahuti Trail. We only went on a small part of the total 8.2 Gahuti Trail, probably only ½ to ¾ of a mile one way. Again there were great views of the valley to west along this trail. We then caught the rest of the Big Rock Nature trail that was the highlight of this part of the hike. We crossed a stream that cascaded in a waterfall on the side of the mountain. It was then a short walk back to our cars. It was a little after 2 o’clock and everyone headed home.
It was very uneventful hike. It started on time, ended on time, the weather was great, no one got hurt and there where many great views. The total distance hiked was likely between three and four miles, although due to the nature of the hike it was hard to come up with an exact number. Don’t count on every hike being like this but it is nice when everything goes this smooth.
Pictures courtesy of Don Norton and Steven Koonce.
Written By: Steven Koonce
Photos From: Don Norton and Steven Koonce.