Thursday, October 27, 2011

Discovering The Trail To "The Ledges"

I'd been looking for a hike called The Ledges, and had already spent most of the morning searching for the trail head and then mistakenly hiking what, in the end, turned out not to be a trail at all (see yesterday's post). I returned to Studley Hill Road and was driving slowly back toward the farm when I saw a tiny dirt road off to my left and turned onto it. It was indeed marked Lee Road which is where the trail head to The Ledges was to be found. So I began driving up it, carefully maneuvering around giant potholes and washouts. I emerged into a broad field in a valley surrounded by hills clothed in autumn colors:

I saw no trail head but a couple of wooden posts marked the parking spot. I got out and walked back down the "road" on which I'd arrived. It was really just a sandy track through an old field which was in the process of reverting to forest. There must have been a farm here many years ago:

And that former farm surely had spectacular views all around. Those rocky ledges to the left of that ridge were, I guessed, the destination of the hike I was about to take:

I walked back to the trail head and began hiking through the forest. The trail was moss covered and soft. There were no trail markers on the trees, but an occasional post had been sunk into the ground to assure me I was still on the trail:

This was a beautiful northern forest and I was thrilled with what I was seeing. I was also happy that it was so far rather level:

I saw these snow white fungi on a moss covered stump:

But then the trail began climbing steeply up a rocky ledge:

The trail was sparsely marked and apparently so seldom hiked that it was difficult to find in many places. This was all the more difficult because of the fallen leaves and I did, indeed, lose the trail several times and have to backtrack:

The ascent became, as you can see here, quite steep. Seamus needed to stop and rest:

Daphne led the way. We were just getting started and there's more to share. I'll post additional photos of our hike up to The Ledges tomorrow:

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