Trail Report:Turner Run/Gauley Ridge to Slate Lick and back 3/10/18

March 10, 2018

Today Carol Ann and I went for a ride. We did a lot of walking and talking and it was a dang good time.

we parked up at Turner Run and headed on past the closed gate, about three miles in and made a left onto the ride top trail. It’s the one that pops out at the parking space facing slightly back. It was amazingly clear after that crazy wind storm last week. I expected a lot more downed trees and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of destruction. The trail winds down and around for a good ways. There are some old red, blue and yellow marks painted on trees that are often hard to see. And sometimes a faded out marker tag. But in nearly all spots the trail can be seen pretty clearly.

There are two places there the trail makes a hard right turn. The first time the trail also continues ahead so it’s easy to miss. But the tree there is heavily marked with arrows and the trees to the right are also heavily marked. The second time the large tee on your left has two large arrows on it and the trees to the right are sparse and hard to find. From this point on the marks are a bit harder to find and some of the trail is a bit blown over but with a moment of looking you won’t get lost.

The trail eventually dumps out at Slate Lick. Carol Ann spotted a raccoon down by the creek at this point. Pretty neat. We let the ponies get a drink and then worked out way up to the lake where we saw some geese. We took a few snap shots then headed back up the fire break trail.

I was not good at taking photos on this ride. We were too busy chatting it up and having a good time to think of such things like documenting the ride. (But my gosh look how big Simons head is in that photo of him!)

Just as we got back to the parking area, Carol Ann’s mare smashed her knee on the fire gate. I think it’s going to be nice and purple by morning, it was a rough smashing. To be clear, the mare smashed Carol Ann’s knee, or her own pony knee. Naughty pony.

I hope Carol Ann still had a good time. And I hope she can walk tomorrow. It’s one of the best, although slowest rides I have been on in a while. And with competition season coming us, trail riding is going to become less frequent soon.

Trail Report – Old Man Run 1117 – Exploration Day 1

April 6, 2015

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On Sunday I checked out a new (to me) trail head off Little Dry River Road in Folks Run area.  Driving a few miles back on Little Dry River Rd, there is an “Entering National Forest” sign on the right hand side, and a little ways past that is a road on the right, Tom’s Cabin (or Camp) Road, I think.  It is well marked as a trail head for 1117 Old Man Run, or on the Forest Service Map, Old Road Hollow.  Just to make things easy.

I pulled in, drove just a few dozen yards, and turned around by backing my trailer up the first side fire road on the right, and then parked on the nice wide side, designed for parking.  I spent about 3 1/2 hours exploring around 14 miles of forest.

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I initially started out by taking the fire road to the right, 1117B, the one I backed into to turn around, and rode up it to the top.  There was a fo-fire road gate, closed. Just a few yards beyond this closed gate the road slit to the right and left, and to the right is a house.  I did not venture off onto private property.

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I headed back down to my start, and decided to head up the main fire road, and through the open gate, which is just a few yards from the parking/turning around area.

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Heading up “Old Man Run” is quite lovely.  There is a creek initially on the left that tinkles along pleasantly.  Not too far along is an unmarked turn to the right.  On the FS map it is 1117D, although there is no marker in the forest.  It crosses down and over a creek and then up a small incline to a split.  To the left is just a camp circle, straight ahead I did take a short ways but it was rather leaf litter deep and a bit inhibitive with fallen branches.  nothing too out of control though.  There was a large boulder in the middle to block vehicles.  I only went a few hundred yards up before deciding to venture else where.

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Above is the road branching 1117D to the right.

???????????????????? The trail straight ahead.  SANYO DIGITAL CAMERASANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe photo above shows the camp area to the left, the over grown trail straight ahead and you can just see the more dominant trail to the right.

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Going right is the main way, clearly used and very well maintained.  A closed fire road gate was just a bit forward from this point.  I headed up it a ways and eventually came to a low fo-fire gate.  I was a bit confused and rode just a bend beyond this gate and realized it was private property with a home off in the distance.  I quickly turned around and headed back to the main fire road.  Should not have been confused.  It was a low red gate.  Red = edge of National Forest.

???????????????????? ???????????????????? SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Back to the main road, I continued up.  The road continued to climb for the entire ride.  A bit of a ways up the road split.  Going left (straight) would put me onto 1117A, although I choose to head right, staying on the main 1117.  I rode for a few miles, twisting up and eventually bumping out to the power line towers.  There was a trail that led out under them and there was a moment of vertigo looking down and away.

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In the above photo you can see the turn that I took the previous photo of the towers from.  If you look read close you can see the puddle that Daisy is standing in.  I turned around for that photo.

And in this photo below, you can see the second house in that clearing off in the distance at the end of 1117D.

I continued on and eventually came to a private gate to the right (a real gate, not a fire road bar).  Next to it was a large stone fire pit and a trail/ATV path directly to the left.  I realized I had lost my camera along the way and decided that it was time to call it.  So I turned around and headed down.  *I did find my camera intact just a little ways back.

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Of all the nice big deep puddles, I only found one that had eggs.  I presume frog eggs.

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And finally, just before reaching the trailer I noticed mushrooms growing on the top of the trail marker.

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There is still a lot to be explored back at this trail head.  I am looking forward to the next time I can get out!

Trail Report ~ 1/24/15 ~ Marshall Run 235

January 28, 2015

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I rode the pink highlight to the best of my drawing ability.  This is marked on map 729 for the National Forest. 

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*Add 1.3miles and 20minutes to the calculations

The weather was a little inclement Friday night into Saturday morning, but the roads were clear, the grass was mostly just dusted.  So I decided to go for a new trail t adventure.  I picked a local area that had paved road parking available and headed up Marshall Run 235.  This fire road wraps quite a ways back into the forest and splits in two directions at a closed gate.  Its a rough drive up with very few areas for passing.  Not the most comfortable drive with a horse trailer.  But there is turn around, although a little tight, and parking at this split.  This is not something I am sure I will consider driving my trailer on a nice day, so I decided to try Clover Lick Run 731, which is much shorter and ends at a three way split.

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Part way up Clover Lick is a trail that crosses the creek and heads off into the forest.  I believe this is a trail I rode with a friend some six or so years ago that loops around and back to itself.  I decided to stick to Clover Lick and headed up to the three way split.  Straight ahead works its way out of the forest and to private property.  The left branch does the same.

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The branch to the right starts as a pretty clear trail, marking very diligently in orange marker tape and spray paint.  Eventually the trail became heavily leaf littered, but the orange markers made it easy to follow.  This was also true as I climbed higher along the ridge and into a frosted wonderland.  All of the trees, branches, brush and leaves were coated in a layer of pristine ice.  On occasion a light breeze would pass by, allowing some small ice bits to *tink tink* to the ground.  Simon’s hooves crunched along, and I sat looking around in wonder.  It is the one time I really wished I had a real camera along for the ride instead of just my little pocket point and shoot.  It did not even come close to catching the magic wonder of the forest.

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Sadly the orange markers disappeared.  I was nearly to Clover Lick Knob, but with the leaf litter and ice coating, I did not feel comfortable pushing on with no markers.  I did find one orange piece of tape on a branch on the ground.  It would have created a switch back, and there was a big of an over grown trail it led to, but it trickled out shortly.

I was getting a bit chilly after walking along the ridge top for so long, and decided it was time to head back.  Annoyingly my iPhone turned off, presumably from the cold, on my ride back.  My calculation adds about 1.3miles and 20 minutes to the ride after what the app recorded.

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January Cub Run 2014

January 12, 2014

Today I loaded up Simon and the dogs and went up to Cub Run/Runkles Gap. I parked about a mile up the road and jumped onto the purple trail. It goes for about a quarter mile and then the next 3/4 mile is a rather steep rock scramble to the top of the mountain.

Simon showed his usual mountain goat abilities and trucked on up the mountain, climbing rocks like a pro. The view from the top is amazing. There is really no justice in a photo but I snapped one off anyway. I love the Blue Ridge.

Part of this area burned a year or two ago, adding to the already existing diversity in terrain. You can see this in some of the photos.

Later, we were coming down to the road, and two large wreckers were towing a truck down the road. Simon whinnied excitedly to the trucks, followed by several more whinnies. He got all peppy, and when we got onto the road, Simon wanted to run after them. So I let him have his head and we galloped down the forest road, with Simon whinnying his heart out. Eventually Simon began to flag and we slowed to a walk and let the trucks pull away from view. It was too funny.

It was a fantastic day and an awesome ride.

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December Slate Lick

January 6, 2014

Carol Ann and I got out for a nice ride at Slate Lick in National Forest right before the new year.  We tried a new trail, some of which was unmarked, and some of which was pretty covered by fallen trees, but we managed to find the switch back and finished the circuit.  It was a good ride.

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