Hike Distance: 8.3 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1522.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1149 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 199871 feet
This is a favorite loop hike of mine and today was a perfect day to hike it. The weather was cool with a small breeze. I parked at the Hantwick Road TH, for the East Fork of the Lewis River Trail, and started up the forest road. I veered to the right and headed east along this forested road. One of the first things I noticed was that there were orange signs on both sides of the road that indicated the right of way boundary. I believe this is a designated logging area that is being prepared for the inevitable. 😦
Along this road I saw two white tail deer jump out into the road and then disappear quickly back into the woods. There were also a couple other roads that veered away from this main east/west road. I took one to the end and was fortunate to find what looked like an old bike trail! I was able to follow this old trail, for about 6/10 of a mile, and it met back up with the other road. That short bike trail was quite enjoyable to walk through.
I continued east on the main road and came to an intersection where another trail brought me to the Bell’s Mt. Trail. The Bell’s Mt. trail is a National Scenic Trail, and is about 10 miles long. One end of the Bell’s Mt. Trail starts at the Lewis River Trail and the other end goes to the Tarbell Trail. There is a large network of trails in this area of the Gifford Pinchot Natl. Forest.
I took the Bell’s Mt. Trail south back to the Lewis River Trail. Instead of taking the Lewis River back to my car I decided to head east over the high bridge and down to some Lewis River views. Their were plenty of opportunities to take pictures in this area. I turned around and headed west, a distance of about 2.5 miles, back to my car.
Such a wonderful day and a beautiful place to spend it!