Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park
Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Liz's Trail - JWT

The Jacksonville Woodland Trails are a group of inter-connected trails that we hike quite often.  This is due to the fact that they are very close by (15 minutes to get there) and accessible all year.  So this weekend we once again headed to the JWT to enjoy two-and-a-half hours of sunshine and hiking.

Looking up along the Jackson Forks trail
Usually when we hike at the JWT we hike a combination of trails but usually stay away from one particular trail -- Liz's Trail.  Why?   Glad you asked.  This trail has lots of steep uphill and downhill segments.

The start of Liz's Trail
After hiking three other trails to get to Liz's trail, we took the turn onto the trail and quickly began the up and down  trek.  The first mile is sandwiched between private property and fencing on either side of the trail as you hike through groves of oak. Not the most scenic, but we enjoyed being out in the sunshine and blue sky.  We eventually reached the first set of steep switchbacks and climbed to the start of the loop segment.

As you can see from the picture below, this 1-mile loop trail gives you the option of going clockwise (the burn direction) or counter-clockwise (the hurl direction).  Either way the sign does not often much encouragement to the  hiker.

The loop segment of Liz's Trail - real encouraging sign!!
We let our dog Katie chose the direction and set off going in the burn direction.  Although this trail is steep, we felt pretty good the entire hike.  We did stop at one of the bench areas along the trail to take a break and enjoy the view, sunshine and quietness.  What a beautiful day!!! Not many hikers at the JWT take this more secluded hike & we saw only one other person ---he was jogging!!

The view from our bench stop along Liz's Trail

We did finish Liz's trail and hiked eight other trail segments this day for a total of 6.5 miles today.  Usually the winter months limit the amount of miles we hike, but so far this year we have hiked over 50 miles to date.  If our math doesn't fail us, that would translate to 300 in a year.  We will see if this pace continues.

View of a non-climbing "Hurl" segment of Liz's Trail
After a great day of hiking we made one stop before heading home.  We stopped at a market in Jacksonville where we picked up a Tri-Tip Steak Sandwich and Girl Scout Cookies.  Guess hiking made us hungry!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

P.S. We added some new blog links to our blog site since the long distance hiking season is approaching.  Feel free to check out these blogs and follow along on their hikes.