March 25, 2017

Bays Mountain Park

  • 8.69 miles
  • 4:05 duration
  • 783 elevation gain
  • 5 caches found

I joined Team CCJ (Dori and Tom) and other members of the Trail Friends of Bays Mountain Park this morning to do some trail maintenance on the Chestnut Trail. We worked for two hours clearing roots, rocks and other tripping hazards from a one mile stretch of trail (not included in the above stats). Members of the team also worked to change the angle of some portions of the trail to improve water drainage.

When we had completed our two hours of work, and returned the mile to our cars, Tom asked if I was up for another couple of miles hike. As you can see from the stats above, that “couple of miles” eventually quadrupled, but the hiking stick and I enjoyed exploring some areas of Bays that we haven’t seen before.

We headed down to the Nature Center to use the facilities, and then cut through  the animal habitats and over to Lake Road. We then hiked up to Feagins Gap, and down into Back Hollow. Our destination was the cabin near the Primitive Camp where our friend BackWoodsAng had hidden a geocache. This is a beautiful spot that we would love to return to some time for an over night stay. Down by the creek behind the cabin I found some early wildflowers starting to bloom.

From there we hiked on down to the Bill Simpson cabin so that I could log the geocache there hidden by LakeBum. After exploring the structures in that area, we headed back up the trail toward Feagins Gap, with a short detour to the smokehouse so that I could log a G. I. Geo cache. Once we reached the gap, we headed down Lake Road, and then detoured once again onto the Lakeside and Holly Trails so that I could log two more caches that have eluded me in the past.

We eventually made it back to the Lake Road which we followed up to the upper parking lot where we had left our cars parked at the Chestnut Trail trailhead. While we had the Back Hollow route to ourselves, we saw numerous hikers along the other trails. By the time we had returned to our cars, all of the parking lots were packed, and cars were parked along the roads and anywhere else they could find a spot. This is certainly a popular park on a warm Saturday afternoon.

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