Table Rock Hike – August ’08

tablerock808

Originally uploaded by ilamhouse

Favorite hikes list:
Table Rock trail, at about mile 10 on Canaan Loop road, starting from Canaan Heights (or Ilam House). Great 2. m round-trip hike with amazing views from the rock promenade over the Red Creek Valley and beyond it to the south the Dry Fork Valley. Getting to the hike takes a little work, though. It’s about 10 miles along Canaan Loop road.

We started at Ilam House and biked there – taking about 1.5 hours. The road (Forest Service Road 13, turn south off of Hwy 32 at Canaan Heights, 3 m. south of Davis, then drive in about 1/2 mile to big rocks and parking area.) is gravel doubletrack and in good condition, but there are rises and dips in the 10 miles that make you work a little. (Road can be and is driven, slowly, by cars/trucks – -probably best to have high clearance.)

The 10 mile ride is really beautiful. It starts going through high mountain bogs and spruce forests. Feels like northern New England! In some places you scream downhill, past the increasingly large and energetic Red Run. Some nice looking campsites along the road/riverbank. The 8th and 9th miles rise from about 3000′ to about 3400′ – not severe, but tiring.

Once at the turnoff for Table Rock, we left the bikes and hiked the flat trail to the lookout – trail was rocky and with some wet spots, but that’s what you’d expect in a rainforest.

At the lookout – wonderful views, as pictured. To the east, the Red Run Valley and on the far side, Mozark Mountain. To the south, long views down towards Dry Fork River Valley, and the mountains beyond. Blueberries on the overlook, as about everywhere this early August.

After Table Rock, we decided to continue the Canaan Loop road circuit out to Blackwater Falls State Park (instead of backtracking the 10 miles.) That section, about 7 miles, is challenging but a lot of fun. The road deteriorates – getting rockier, bigger potholes, more mud, some stream crossings to get your ankles wet – all in all some and moderately technical riding. Our 9 year old is a trooper and enjoyed it, with periodic cheerleading.

Duration – bike 17 miles from top of ridge at Hwy 32 to Blackwater Falls State Park – about 3 hours

Remarkability ****

Kid friendly * – it’s a workout. Our 10 and 13 year olds did great, but have done such rides before 😉 The long uphill in the middle was a slog. The downhills where gleeeeful. The streamcrossings fun.

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