So, another hike was planned for this weekend, but things didn’t pan out, so we decided to postpone it. So, I decided to take my pack, which happened to be all packed up already, and head out to Big Hill Pond State Park to do a little day hiking yesterday. (Link to map HERE.)
Most of the times that I go to Big Hill Pond, I end up hiking along the south side of the park, as there are more “attractions on this end. There is of course the lake(s), a fire tower which can be climbed for the best view in the park, the Dismal Swamp area, and just more trails. On the other hand, the north side gets less traffic as there are less trails, and fewer attractions. For this reason, many of the trails on the north side have been neglected for quite some time.
The times I have been to the north side, I have tried to find my way to a spot called Rocky Knob, which (I believe) is the parks high point. Needless to say, due to the trail conditions, I never found it because the trails simply stopped…if I could even find them to begin with! As well, the markings on the trails (once found) are a bit confusing and inconsistent. However, yesterday, I decided that I would give it another shot.
Upon entering the park, I immediately noticed some new trail signs that had been set-up since I was last there. (As seen in the photo above. The new sign is on the left, the old is on the right.) The good thing was, I immediately noticed where the trail was… however, after stepping out onto the trail, just past the signs, I realized that, while new signs were up, the trails were still pretty much non-existent…
As seen in the video above, after bumbling around for a bit just about a hundred feet past the new sign, I finally realized that there simply was no trail. Instead, there were markers that I had to follow. These consisted of both white blazes on some trees, as well as a little plastic signs painted green (of all colors) with a stick-backpacker-figure painted on it. I found that for a while, I could simply stand at one of the markings, then look around and usually see the next one. Then I simply made my way to the next one and repeated the process.
However, I finally got to a point in which I did not see any more markings… At this point I decided to turn around and track my way back to the road, then road hike to the other end of the loop and go in from that way…
After coming in from the top of the loop, I immediately realized that the “trail” was the same as on the other end: non-existent. However, Rocky Knob was pretty close to where I was, so I simply turned and made my own way up to where I thought was Rocky Knob would be… and it turned out to that I was right! Rocky Knob is simply an area with a number of large rocks lying around. It is actually a nice little spot and I plan to revisit it again another day since I now know where it is…
However, by the time we found it, I was super hot and sweaty, and just ready to get back. As well, Little Bit was with me, and she was in the same condition. I actually carried her back once we got back to the road.
So, while I didn’t get to head out to the hike I was supposed to do, I did finally find Rocky Knob at Big Hill Pond State Park, so that was awesome!
Still a good day!
Also, for those interested, the last 9 or 10 minutes of the above video shows the contents of my pack that I was going to carry with me on the (original) hike. The total weight was 9 lbs, 1.8 oz. This weight included a day & a half worth of food, my water & fuel, and even 30.5 oz of camera gear… Pretty impressive if I may say so myself… pretty impressive… 🙂
Thanks for stopping!