Cool but sunny. Goal today was to follow a spur off the Johnson Brook Trail ( Birch Grove Spur) that had previously frustrated us. We started from the parking lot and headed for the beaver pond- one of Kelley's favorite parts of this hike.
Along the way some leaves
We then backtracked to the loop trail. This is a pleasant trail with several bridges over the marshier sections. Most have them have become warped and distorted. Kelley is a little leery
The Birch Grove Spur has frustrated us because we have never made it to a birch grove. It starts out as a nice clear trail, and even has a long bridge, but the trail becomes less and less distinct and finally just disappears. Today we continued on past that point, keeping the sun directly behind us. After a fair amount of bushwhacking, looking for more of the trail we gave up again. We could not find the trail back and began bushwhacking out toward the sun ( that should work, right?) . We never did find the trail and after awhile came to a large beaver pond we had not seen before and I knew we were really off course. We worked around the pond, more bushwhacking and suddenly found a nice wide trail running along a stream. We had never seen this trail before either but followed it.
Poor picture- shooting into the sun and camera focus acting up but it was a pretty stream
I thought it must be the Birch Stream and that turned out to be so. The trail ended at County Rd. . There was no sign and it wasn't easy to see but we will start from this end next time and further explore.
We now had a walk back to our car. We walked the road for awhile but then saw a gated service road that I thought would take us back to the loop trail and get us off the road ( drawn in on map) . This worked out and we finished the hike as we usually do. Another interesting hike that gave us trails to explore in future. 3 hours