Quick summary – A good workout and wear long pants!
We have had some delicious weather here on the east coast courtesy of the the wildfires out west. The morning I set out to meet friends at Cacapon State Park it was cool and unexpectedly pleasant for July. We met up at the Batt picnic area for an easy access to the trail. We were in luck with a port-a-potty nearby, as well! 😀
A ranger pulled up as we were organizing our packs and stopped to chat with us about the trail. He also gave us a fresh trail map (appreciated) and let us know that Cacapon now offers “glamping” up on the ridge. Good to know!
We set off in the glorious early morning fresh air! Oh, it was nice to be in the woods in the early morning! Birds greeting the day, chipmunks scrambling through dry leaves, and my feet heading uphill. Uphill for a mile and a half! It was a steep climb, with a few opportunities to stop and chat. I noticed a nice rocky area one could stop and take a sit down break…we didn’t partake, but I was thinking ahead to a possible Trail Dame hike. That rest area would come in handy for the Dames!
On we go, up, up, up! Once on the ridge the walking was easy, but the trail is incredibly overgrown with grass and ferns. The grass is thin enough to see the trail for a few feet before it disappears into wild growth. We took it slow and lucky me, hiking in the front, got to scope out the brush for any lurking snakes and catch those wispy cobwebs that seem to appear out of thin air! I carried out my task and we escaped any snakes that may have been hiding out. 😀
At the junction of the Ziler trail and the Ziler Loop trail, we saw a handmade sign for a view…so we explored it. And nothing. We went left, then right, and backtracked. No view in sight. Maybe a winter view? Or maybe the trail was overgrown and we didn’t see it? I don’t know, but the blazes were not in sight, so I was done! Back on the trail!
There is a shelter along the ridge which surprised us all. It was time for second breakfast, so we all decided that this was a blessed intervention in our hike through the jungle. 😀 😀 😀 The shelter sits along what looks like a fire road. I am now curious to find out where it goes. That would be easy hiking for some of the newbie hikers in Trail Dames!
Snack time over and back on the trail we plodded through more high grass. Eventually the high grass gave way to rocks and dirt. The trail now wound steeply down the mountain. It was rocky, with an abundance of those pesky loose pebbles, making the descent a bit tricky. The trail signs were hilariously spot on. 😀
Once down the mountain, the terrain calmed down. Thank goodness…I stretched my neck and rolled my shoulders…ahhh that felt good! Along the last stretch of the loop, we passed the cabin area, saw some pretty impressive rock features, and got to walk on some “Wobbly Bridges” (seriously, they were called Wobbly Bridge #1, #2, etc 😀 ). As we neared the parking area, one of my hiking pals said, “yep, it’s time to get my trail legs back!” Amen to that! 😀 Hike On!