The week ended with a relaxing drive in the coastal mountains near Mapleton. Well, actually we were lost for a good amount of time. We started out to hike the Kentucky Falls trail near the same area as the Sweet Creek Falls trail that we hiked a couple weeks ago.
The initial turn off is well marked to the Whitaker Creek Recreation Area, and the first turn off is sort of marked to the Kentucky Falls trail, which is where we intended to go. The sign said it was 16 miles so I looked down at the odometer to make a mental note and off we went. There were multiple, let me stress that…MULTIPLE forks in the road and none of them were marked. Initially we just stayed on the one that looked best kept.
Here are a couple pics I took from the logging roads we circled around on the way up.
We decided just to make the best of it, so we took our time and enjoyed the sights and some of the wonder of nature. At one point a Red Tailed (I think) Hawk flew across the road; what a sight to see. Around a couple corners we came up on a couple birds in the road. At first I thought they were young turkeys but as we got closer, I realized they were the juveniles. Little teenage hawks, just chillin’ in the road, I was able to take a picture from the FJ and they never moved. Once I got out and tried to get a little closer they finally flew back up into the trees.
This is the only picture I was able to get of one of them.
After we made our way back to the highway we decided to go back to Sweet Creek and hike there so we could get some activity in. Just as we got there we saw a sign pointing to our original goal…19 miles up the road.
So we said what the H and off we went again. There were much better markings, though we had to pay close attention. I think some other people had the same frustrations ‘cause there were a few signs painted on rocks directing you which way to go.
On the way up we stopped to have lunch along the North Fork of Smith River.
We finally found the trailhead and hiked a beautiful, though fairly aggressive 4.25 miles. I knew the hike back would be a workout because the descent was fairly aggressive. We went with caution and made lots of noise after we read the info board.
It was gorgeous hiking through the rain forest and though we couldn’t always see it, we could hear the water rushing through the forest.
I think my new healthy lifestyle really agrees with me.