When I hike, I typically want to get out and enjoy the scenery, and often times I crave the distance from people and things. It doesn’t always have to be about how many miles you can do, but sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself. Every now and then, I like to push myself to see just how far I can go. This isn’t for anyone else but me. Last weekend I did roughly 7.6 miles in about 4 hours (that includes some breaks and elevation climbs) — a personal best.
DuPont State Forest is a great place to see how far you can go and still be relatively close to your starting point. There are a lot of small trails which connect to form long hikes and loops. I ended up doing an extended figure eight hike in the Corn Mill Shoals Access Area which included trails, old roads, and even a mountain.
Nifty trail spots:
1. Considering one of the old roads is named Rock Quarry Road, I can only assume that the area I passed with piles of boulders was in fact an old quarry in the middle of the woods.
2. If you keep hiking Corn Mill Shoals east, it will eventually begin to curve north and can be taken further into the park to Bridal Veil Falls. However, you do have to ford a small river. The rocks are really slick, so this needs to be done with caution. I didn’t even attempt it since the water was moving pretty fast.
3. The Nooks. This area is exactly what it sounds like — a tiny trail tucked away off to the side. This small fern-filled loop is only .4 miles long. I highly recommend dousing yourself in bug spray before going in.
4. Burnt Mountain is just under 3,000 feet in elevation. The hike up isn’t the worst I’ve done, but you will get a workout. It doesn’t help that I did this section as fast as I could for fear it might storm while I was in the middle of the woods on a mountain.