I was looking for a challenge when I set out on May 17th. I chose to explore Lowder Mountain Trail from the east trailhead. Although there is a bit of elevation climb, the real challenge lies in the fact that a good part of this trail has been without maintenance for years. Depending on the surface the trail passes over, this results in a trail that is everything from clearly visible to essentially gone.
I got a nice early start.
Everything past the two-mile mark is unmaintained.
This first two miles was in great shape. It had been logged out, so there weren’t any obstructions.
It’s a shame when a tree this large comes down. Especially when it was healthy and was simply knocked down by another falling tree. Count the rings…
When I got to the top of the ridge, I started to get some views.
It was about this point that I heard noises in the underbrush to my right. I turned in time to see a black bear running away. He was smallish, with a torso about 3′ long, and he didn’t want anything to do with me. He got about 60′ away and went up a tree. I spent this whole time trying to get my camera out and ready to take a picture. The bear was faster than I was. Sorry.
While photographing this trillium I noticed it had a resident.
At the 2-mile mark I came across this post. It took a while to work out what was written on the signs. This is the turnoff for the Walker Creek Trail and the end of maintenance on the Lowder Mountain Trail. The Walker Creek Trail is the one leading uphill on the right side of the post. It’s hard to see (even in person) but the Lowder Mountain Trail continues just to the left of the post toward that gap in the trees. Because I wanted to see the summit of Lowder Mountain, I went right, up the hill.