Beautiful hike along the lake.
By skigil on 10/10/2010
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 6 hours
I found this hike to be more than I thought it was. Not only was terrain harder, but there were less people than I had expected.
I took off from Juniper Point West. It appears most people do this(you can't beat the free parking!). I parked at the bathrooms and started heading towards the trail. The day-use area was roped off, but it looked very inviting. It was right along the lake and looked perfect for a large group's picnic.
I finally got onto the trail and knew my goal was getting to the "5-mile" campsite. I quickly realized that the first mile or so of the trail was along a cliff. I am rather scared of heights, but this cliff didn't seem to bother me. (I am hoping this means I am getting over my fear of heights!)
Once the trail flattened out, there were plenty of spots for people to setup campsites, if they didn't want to hike it all the way to the "5-mile" campsite.
As I passed the beautiful scenery, I learned that the trail was much more up-and-down than I originally planned for. There is quite a bit of rocks and tree roots that form into stairs. So in other words, this isn't a simple walk in the park, yet the trail was easily identifiable, but certainly not anything crazy.
Even though there were plenty of times I thought I was in the middle of nowhere, there is no denying that you're not. Not only were there plenty of people on the trail, there are always people on the lake. I can easily imagine the lake being a lot fuller around the three day weekends.
Reminders for people on the trail:
1) No running water along the trail. Either bring water, plan on filling up at some of the commercial campsites, or bring a filter.
2) Stay towards the lake on the trail at all times. I found myself in someone's backyard with their dogs because I took a wring turn. I think it was the only wrong turn you could possibly take.
3) I took along my iPhone so I could keep track of how far/fast I was traveling. This was one of my better decisions.
I hiked to the "5-mile" campsite and back. Now I want to do the entire trail. I could probably do it in 2 days, but I'd like to go slower and stretch it out over 3 days. I feel like I went to fast to enjoy all the nature that this trail brings.