Trail Report: Tillman Road – Hearthstone Lake Awkward Loop

Sunday 04/08/12 – Tillman Road, Hearthstone Lake, Awkward Loop

This is a very short loop, a little awkward, and not very direct or clearly developed as a loop. 

Simon at the end of our ride

Park: I parked on the side of Tillman Rd where it wraps around Hearthstone Lake Damn. 

The lake is stocked with trout

Loop – If standing on the road and facing the damn, ride right along Tillman to the first fire road on the left.  It is on a sharp curve in the road and bears up hill.  There is a fire road gate, closed. 

Travel up the road, it is very short, and ends at the top of the damn.  It appears to be a large field.  It is earth that is used to create a damn. 

Turn left and travel along the top of the earth damn, parallel with Tillman Rd.  It will be visable after a bit on the left, down the hill. 

The view of the top of the damn. View from the the end of the very short fireroad that loop starts out on.

The Lake will appear on the right.  Continue to ride along the top of the damn to the hill.  Turn go right and down the damn to the lake.  It is a bit rocky under the grass, big rocks, so be weary.  There are a few pathes, a few yards in length, that will put you on the trail around the lake.  Some of them are rougher than others. 

Ride around the lake and out to the fireroad.  Follow the fire road up and then down to Tillman, make a left and you’ll be back to where you parked. 

The little trail near the lake parking.

I made a few detours along the ride in the name of exploration.  The first deviation I made was to pop onto trail #434.  This is at the bottom of the fireroad close to the lake parking area.  it tromps back through a flood area (which the whole lake area is).  It was a neat little twisty trail through soft footing which ends shortly at a creek.  You can see across the creek where the trail continues.  I spotted one of the yellow blazed trees, but the creek is full of washed up fallen branches and trees.  It would be a little difficult to cross on foot, clambering over the wash, but it was certainly out of the question with a pony in tow. 

Itchy Pony

I also explored another trail.  It was found by continuing just a bit father up the fire road from the lake.  At about the crest of the fill is an unnumbered trail on the right.  It had two small entrances just a few yards apart, one that was marked by a rather old and shot up “no vehicals” yellow sign. 

A pretty photo of the sky that day

I followed this trail up for about 30 minutes.  It was mostly up hill but eventially leveled out somewhat.  It is cearly a used trail, though not heavily, and was rather over grown.  There is currently no way a larger horse would fit on the trail without quite a bit of difficulty.  I kept expecting it to pop out at an incredible over look or some super secrete mushroom hunting honey pot spot, but after 30 minutes I had enough of being beat up by the tree branches and over growth and decided to call it. 

I turned around and hiked back down on foot with Simon following behind me.  There were a lot of broken back branches and there were clear routs repeatedly used to navigate around most of the larger falled debree, although there were still a few newer ones that did not appear to have been previously navigated around. 

Itchy Pony photo #2

Another neat feature to this loop, would be the damn over spill pool.  It lays near the bottom of the damn, where the road curves around and there is easy pull over for parking.  It is not possible to miss from the car while driving on Tillman. 

I did not venture down to it on this trip, but it is very clear and blue and rather deep, with good sitting rocks around the edges. 

And a bunch of other photos of the day’s adventure.  Enjoy.

My rig parked on Tillman from the top of the damn - gives perspective

a View of the lake from on top of the damn

Daisy on top of the damn

Daisy looking down at Tillman from the top of the damn

Daisy looking down at the pool down by Tillman

riding along the top of the damn. Make a right at the end and go down the damn to the lake.

Simon at the lake.

Riding along trail 434

An old uproot tree on trail 434 in the flood area.

on trail 434 there were a lot of neat rounded river rocks caught up in roots and stumps like this.

This is where trail 434 corsses the creek and continues over on the otherside in those trees.

Itchy pony photo #3

Hearthstone Lake, the damn side, from Tillman Rd, right by the pullover parking.

and a close up of the sign.

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