Trail Report – Slate Lick 230/593/422 North split Loop – 5/15/15

May 15, 2015

This week’s half-day-Thursday, ran a little late, and I didn’t get to the trail head until 4pm.  I decided to hit Slate Lick area, which is an amazing area that is very popular with excellent trails and creek crossings.  With Slate Lick most equestrians pull down the long entrance road to a field on the left where there is ample parking, and generally other horse trailers.

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I did this and then headed down the road, and took the right split, 230 Slate Lick.

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This is well maintained fire road, and cars can still drive down and park closer in just before a closed gate.

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I passed the gate, and a family going fishing, and headed along, over a few creek crossings and to the lake.

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On some previous posts I rode from Turner Run down to Slate Lick.  the photos below point to the areas that I came/in at.

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After passing the lake I headed into the woods, and followed the well marked twisty trail over creeks and through the trees.  At one point there is a left hand turn, that goes up the hill, veering back, that cuts this loop more than in half.  I probably should have taken this turn.

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I saw these cool, fresh mushrooms on this tree.

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This trail eventually winds out, maybe 6 miles along, into a sort of grassy clearing.

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Turning left puts you onto a fire road, 240 I believe, and eventually becomes an incredible uphill climb.  I kept thinking, geeze, this has got to end soon.  Nope, it just kept climbing.  Of course there were some great views on the climb, but my goodness, keep on going.  This was certainly the least exciting part of the loop.

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Eventually there is an open gate, and then a bit of a clearing with a marked trail, 422, on the left.

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Right after starting out on 422, the trail splits.  the left hand branch is just about as dominant as the right hand, and I am calling it the 422 North since it sits north of the main 422.  It is heavily ridden and well established.  It winds pleasantly through the woods.  I was cantering along part of the trail and saw this little man built shelter.  Not the best photo, but it gave me a chuckle.  “Did someone find it was too late to make it back before dark?”

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Somewhat more than half way along this section of trail another trail meets up with it from the left coming up the hill.  This is the split that could have been taken many miles ago.  But continuing on, this trail eventually pops back out at the Hog Pen side of the fire road, and right back to the parking area.

Its a pretty good length loop, and I don’t know what I was thinking taking it on a Thursday afternoon.  It was a great day for a ride, in the upper 50s and sunny.  Ill have to spend some more time at Slate Lick in the coming months.  There are so many little trails and places to adventure and explore.  And its nice to be on well established and used horse trails.

Tack Area

May 14, 2015

After my ride last night I was putting tack away and snapped off a quick photo.  I think I need to tidy up a bit more.

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Dirt Bike Mounted Games

May 12, 2015

Last night Rich rode his dirt bike into my riding field and started bending the poles and shuffling the mugs.  Poe was not amused.  It cracked me up.

I think Poe and I can kick his butt.

Trail Report: 1117 Old Man Run – Little Dry River Road – to the left.

May 11, 2015

**The power line black line I drew onto the map is not exact, and the trail crosses the line much more frequently than I make it appear. But it gives you an idea.

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Sundays are for the woods.

Yesterday I went back to Old Man Run 1117 off of Little Dry River Rd. Last time I went to this trail head I explored the right branch. This time I explored the left.

I parked near the main road, and headed up the road fire road. It’s a little shy of two miles to the split in the road, this includes passing two turns to the right. I think next time I venture into this area Ill drive up and park at this split so I can go a little farther out.

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I took the left split and checked out some debris on the side of the trail right at the turn.  It appears that someone either dumped some housing supplies or a little tiny shack collapsed. Next to the pile I found a dead bird. I did not touch it but snapped off this photo from Simon’s back. I think it might be a pheasant. But I really have no idea.

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I continued up the road, which was a rather well-manicured. At the top there was sort of a wide turn around area that has signs of recently being used for camping. There is a nice wide green turn off to the left, over a berm, which goes out to the power lines. Of course this is a spot for amazing views. I took a few minutes to enjoy looking around at the mountains and tree tops and then proceeded along a small unmarked trail straight ahead. I went a short ways and eventually turned back around. I saw a lot of beer signs including some scat and lots of clawed up trees. The trail was rather simple and nice but did not appear to be headed anywhere.

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Back on the fire road I continued along and shortly came to a closed gate. I can’t remember if it’s at the turn I drew it in on the map, or more likely on the turn before that one. The fire road was still pleasant after the gate, although it shortly came to a wide turn around area, again with camping evidence. Coming out of the back of the area, where the original fire road is still in place, although over grown, a nice trail was still usable. I continued along this portion, which crossed back and forth across the power lines several times. Each pass pausing to enjoy the amazing views.

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The trail was really nice. It was wide enough in most places for a quad, in some places the road was perfectly open, and in others it was more of a dirt bike/pony/person width. It was pleasantly green with blooms and flowers, it smelled fabulous, and there was a nice breeze whispering through. It was a bit more exposed to the sun than I expected, although not continuously, but maybe not the best option for the hottest brightest days of the summer. I came home a little pink. There were also a few spots with flowing springs or run offs along the edge of the trail. I would expect these to be dried up in the summer, but they were still running yesterday and the dogs enjoyed them.

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The road comes to an abrupt end under some power lines. It was a nice ending, with some views, although I felt like there should have been a trail or something continued at the end. But I saw a big ol black snake on the trail, just a few feet from the end and was more than happy to call it turnaround time. I am not a fan of snakes.

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On the ride back I checked out two yellow markers on some small pines growing up on the edge of the fire road, right at a turn. They were old, and worn, but marked a semi hidden trail head. I checked it out just a little and found it over grown with thorn trees. Not the pricker bushes or vines, but the trees with thorns all over them. Forget that.

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I also checked out a small branch off to the right, it was again a bit over grown, although still obvious, and very short. I did not see the trail head for the dotted line on the other end at all. Although I was not looking for it and noticed it on the tracker map when I got back.

A nice ride and a gorgeous day.

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Trail Report – FS240 Vepco ~ Little Dry River

May 8, 2015

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I love – Short Work Thursdays.  If I plan my work week just right I can get home in time to spend a few hours riding in the woods.  I managed that yesterday and headed out to FS240, Vepco Road off of Little Dry River Rd.

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I forded the creek crossing (feeling a little wild – with trailer in tow) and drove up to the first right hand branch , 240E, which is where I parked, unloaded, and headed down.

After passing the closed FS gate, the path was peppered with spearmint plants adding to the blooming tree aroma.  I stayed straight where the trail split.  It narrowed down and soon the old fire road became chocked with small trees.  It was clear someone has kept up a foot path.  There were trees cut back and branches broken back and it was rather passable.  Although after a bit there were three downed trees across the path and I decided to turn around.

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When I got home I looked at the satellite image on my tracker and if I had just gone a little father it appears to have opened up to a clearing with trails off of it.  Nuts, I suppose Ill have to go back to this spot!

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I went back to the split and headed down (left branch)

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There were a few creeks along the way and the terrain changed several times.

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I stayed right when the trail split again, and continued to the end.  It broke down into an over grown trail, and I eventually turned around, just after this pile of rocks.

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Heading back to the split, I made a right (which would have been a left on my descent), and checked out the two branches this lead to.

Nothing super spectacular, but I did see some pretty terrain, lots of growth, and some eggs in a slow moving creek.

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Returning to my start, I decided to adventure in another direction.

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Just a slight ride down the fire road brought me to another closed FS gate to the left, just before the power lines.  I crossed the power line path and took a trail through the woods for a while.  I saw a lot of bear poo and scratched up trees.  I turned around after a bit and explored the power line area for the views before calling it for the day.

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On the way out I stopped at the creek ford and washed some of the mud off the dogs.

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I did not make good time, or pound out a ton of miles, but I really enjoyed this ride.  Everything smelled amazing.  Everything was green and colorful.  The air was warm and it felt good to be in a tank top.  I also coated Simon, the dogs and myself in fly spray before we headed out.  Making this the first ride of the year that was permeated by the smells of fly spray and sweaty pony.

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