Monday, March 12, 2012
Hidden Passage Trail
I hiked Saturday with Nancy Juodenas and Amy Sutton from the Nashville chapter of TTA at Pickett State Park. It sure was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, and warm sunshine. This trail is also part of the Sheltowee Trace Trail so you see the white turtle blazes along with the green blazes. Right away we saw a small arch and overhang and then Crystal Falls. The trail then takes you across the top of the falls, watch your step, it would be a quick decent. We saw lots of rock shelters and overhangs, some look like you could explore if you’re willing to crawl. We walked along rock walls for a while. The colors in the rock are so pretty with so many patterns. We saw trailing arbutus blooming among the ledges in the rock walls.
We decided to take the side trail to Double Falls. We had to wade across Thompson Creek to get to the Falls. OMG that water was COLD! I didn’t even notice the rocks I was stepping on crossing; my feet were numb halfway across. The falls were spectacular. One hiking pole was dropped and had to be retrieved. My hiking pole was missing….left it by the creek while putting my boots back on. Found it when we stopped to take our boots back off to cross back over the creek. I told them any time we stopped to make sure I have it when we take off again, that’s usually Craig’s job.
We stopped for lunch at Thompson’s Overlook and kicked back on the warm rock for a little while. We saw 2 backpackers and 2 hikers on the trail.
Wildflowers seen: bluets, wild strawberry blooms, yellow violets, and trailing arbutus.
It was a 10 mile loop including to side trip to Double Falls which is 2 miles (out and back). There is also another side trail to an abandoned railroad tunnel that would be another option. We hiked past the Group Camp and then along the top of a rock wall and across another small arch.
We drove around the park, Nancy pointed out the cabins that she and her family have spent vacations in, and seeing where all the trailheads are. It’s a really pretty State Park.