Tuesday, January 19, 2010

West Prong Trail

Trail Miles Completed: 2.0
Total Miles Hiked: 4.0

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so we didn't have school.  It was also a nice warm (50 degrees) and sunny day after a soggy weekend.  So - what better to do than go for a hike?

Caleb is one of Duncan's best friends and spent the night on Sunday, and they both joined me on this hike.  It's a good trail for little legs to get some practice hiking.  The total trail runs from Tremont to the Bote Mtn. Trail (2.7 miles), but we only hiked from Tremont up to Campsite 18 (2.0 miles).

On a previous backpacking trip Jesse and I had stayed at Campsite 18, but had come to it from the other end of the West Prong Trail, so I only needed the Tremont end of the trail to complete the whole thing.

It was a really beautiful day for mid-January.  Warm and sunny and while the trail was pretty muddy in places due to recent rains it was in pretty good shape overall.  The trail rises a few hundred feet over the first 1.1 miles as it skirts the edge of Fodderstack Mtn.  There were lots of good views to the north along this section.  From there to Campsite 18 the trail descends gently.  All in all it was both gentle and challenging enough for a 9 & 10-year old.


The boys were, of course, always looking for someplace to climb and this little draw fit the bill perfectly.  We spent about 15 minutes here as the boys climbed on the mossy rocks up above this tiny waterfall/pool and got thoroughly muddy and happy.


Near the crest of the trail (about mile 1.1) we came across this stump - you can see the top of the tree behind the boys.  It was clear this tree had been chopped (not sawn) down - you can still see the axe marks.  They pretended to be beavers chewing the tree down :-)
We counted the rings and figured the tree was about 70 years old when it was felled, which looks to have been a pretty long time ago.


Our final destination was Campsite 18.  This is a really nice site.  It sits right on the banks of the West Prong and is large enough to accommodate several groups.  There are tent sites on either site of the creek and an old log bridge across it.


When we got there Duncan & Caleb pretended to be exhausted, but really they were just waiting for me to get the beef jerky out.  We stayed and played and explored the campsite for about half and hour, and saw the spot where Jesse and I had camped a couple of years ago.  We ate up our rations of beef jerky, trail mix, donuts and licorice before heading back.


My two little troopers - they did a great job!


On the way back down we took a side trail to an old cemetery that is close to Tremont.  It is still maintained and used, and the headstones ranged from folks who had died in the late 1800s to the 2000s.  It was a strange sight to see all those plastic flowers in the middle of woods surrounded by an old split-rail fence.


Duncan took this picture of me while we were on our way back down.  We made it back to the car just as it was starting to get dark.  A couple of tired but happy little boys, and one tired but happy big boy.

Happy hiking!


  1. Glad you are making good nutrition part of your healthy lifestyle!

  2. Beef jerky, trail mix, donuts and licorice? ROFL. Now that is some good snackage. :)

  3. hey now - you gotta keep up your calorie intake when you're hiking! we burned a lot of energy you know!

  4. Caleb woke up yesterday and said "Mom, I think I pulled some muscles." I said, "Where?" He said, "Back here by my calves." I did chuckle a little and said "Nope, you just worked them real good on the hike, now you should stretch." To which the tears started and he said ,"But that hurts."