Pretty good hike. Lot's of water, birds, wild flowers, and butterflies, but not all that much access to the water for the creek beagle, but she still had a good time. About 5 and a half miles according to the map and my pedometer. About 3 hours and 40 minutes. I lost some time doing some unproductive bush whacking, and took a couple of short breaks at some conveniently located benches. I was pretty tired afterward, but Wilma was still raring to go.
I was planning to follow the main trail in a loop, however, shortly after trail marker 4, the trail just ends. The trail map shows a trail segment continuing east along Blair Rd, but there is no trail. There is what may be the remnants of a trail, but no trail.
I backtracked and went around and came up on the other side (marker 6), and it too just stops at the road. The section of trail going east/west shown on the trail map that is roughly between marker 4 and 5 just does not exist.
It would not have been so bad to walk along the road, but there are locked gates and a fence making access to the road difficult. I ran across a couple hiking in the preserve and in talking with them mentioned the missing section of trail. They said they have been hiking there for several years and they have not seen that trail segment. They just climb over the gates and walk along the road.
To me, it seems like all but forcing people to climb over a gate is just asking for someone to get hurt. Maybe a revision to the map is in order, removing the non-existent trail segment, and indicating there is no access to the road. Or some way to more easily get past the gates. I sent an email to the FP district Sunday evening, but as of Tuesday evening had not gotten a response.
Granite monument at the trail head.
Lots of water all around, but not much access.
Just after marker 4, the trail leaves the wooded area and enters an open field again.
The trail just stops at the road again, with another locked gate. It never makes it to marker 5.