Southwestway Park 1-24-2016

Our goal is to get out and hike SOMETHING every weekend this year. Sometimes we plan big, sometimes we plan small. This week was a small week. We decided to hit up Southwestway Park for a number of reasons. Chiefly for me being that it’s only 10 minutes from my house. When we got there we immediately noticed that this park is well travelled. There were people out walking their dogs, in fact we almost witnessed a dogfight as soon as we got out of our cars, as one of the patrons didn’t realize that just because your dog is nice and you think he doesn’t need to be on a leash, doesn’t mean that every dog he encounters is going to feel the same way.

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Anyway, right of the bat we understood that we were probably going to stick out a little with our loaded packs, hiking “city trails” that are never more than a mile away from civilization. Immediately the gentleman walking with his dogs off leash noticed the same thing and said asked if we were training for something because “[he] can’t imagine your serious otherwise.” We get it, we look funny. But if you don’t spend time getting used to walking on trails carrying a weighted pack, you’re going to regret it when you try to do it for real.

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Moving on, we started the trails and immediately noticed that the trailhead was not well maintained. There were dog “deposits” right in the middle of the trail in several spots and noticeable trash along the trail at the trailhead. That however, is not at all uncommon, since generally speaking people these days are slobs. We decided to take the mountain bike trails as they were a little bit longer and the terrain was a little bit more rough than the almost paved dedicated hiking trails. All in all we spent about an hour and a half exploring the area and especially liked the portion that runs next to the White River. If you’re looking for a casual nature walk I would recommend this trail, if you’re looking for a true hiking experience I would steer you to one of the State Parks instead.alltrails-southwestway-park–11 

Directions and further information are available in the link below.  https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/southwestway-park–11

 

 

Low Gap Trail Southwest Loop 1/19/2016

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Today’s trip was along the southwestern portion of the Low Gap Trail (blue loop on the map). This is a very scenic trail in Morgan Monroe State Forest, but is definitely not for the feint of heart. It’s full of challenging terrain and steep climbs. I hiked a little over 3 miles into it (almost back to the southern intersection with the paved road) before doubling back to my starting point. I was planning on hiking a larger portion of the trail, but it was incredibly cold in the morning, to the tune of negative teens with wind chill according to some weather sources. So I waited until afternoon to start the trip. As it was it only got up to 18 degrees as a high but with the terrain I was on it really didn’t seem that cold. This solo trip was more for conditioning and just to see what there was to see in this area than a serious hike. I know I plan on doing a few thru hikes on the full 10 miles of the Low Gap once the weather warms up a bit and I can do some camping in the backwoods. Definitely looking forward to that. But for now, I got a hell of a workout and some pretty awesome pictures.

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Winter Low Gap Trail: 1-10-2016

Low Gap Trail

My father and I hit the Low Gap Trail in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest (Martinsville, Indiana) this past Sunday for a short “get into the swing of things” hike.

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This was my first dedicated hike since I was a kid. We planned this out a week ahead when we heard that we were getting a decent amount of snow, in the hopes of seeing some of the Indiana backwoods in a different light; it didn’t disappoint. While we only actually went about a mile (maybe) into the Low Gap Trail, it was still a workout in the fresh snow. It’s a lot like walking up hills of very fine sand and would be challenging enough for someone in much better shape than myself. As it was, I sweat a lot, got out of breath, and was exhausted at the end of the trip. However we did take the opportunity to get some cool pictures of the scenery since we were the only ones out, aside from a couple of squirrels, in the aftermath of the snow storm. It was a short trip, but was definitely a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Additional information and reviews of this trail are available at https://alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/indiana/rock-shelter

I don’t get paid to say that, I just enjoy the site.