Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cascade Lake Loop

This isn't the first time we've done this loop but it was the first time doing it backward. I wouldn't recommend it. Since we were up there they had changed the trail and we got confused which lead to us going in a circle. After a moment of panic, we realized what had happen and found the trail.
It seems like no matter what season you go in this trail is muddy,(ok I imagine you could avoid mud in the Winter) Hubby managed to step in and cover his leg in mud. We've gone in the Summer and now Fall. Depending on who you ask the trail is 5-7 miles long, I forgot my pedometer so I'm not sure but would lean toward 5 miles. We walked it in two hours with only a short lunch break and a quick stop at Cascade Falls.
The trail starts off with a nice hilly walk then you turn on to an old road so it's very open for a bit. When you reach a fork it the trail you go right up a small incline. From here it's about 2.8 miles to Cascade Falls. You'll hear the falls before you come to the trail that leads to it.
Fall 2013
The waterfall is really just a stream with a 40 foot drop into a small pool. There is a campsite here which is nice in the Fall, but very buggy in the Summer. If you continue on the "loop" it takes you over a small bridge and up then down a hill (here's where we got turned around) following the red trail markers will take you through a rerouted section of trail which is less wet but very muddy. Going straight on the "old" trail will lead you to a meadow which is very wet. The first year we did this trail in the Summer there was a shoe stuck in the trail. So basically it's pick which ever you consider the less of two evils, muddy shoes or wet shoes. The trail continues up and down through some muddy forested area. Then levels out next to the lake, from here it's a very easy walk.
 
View of lake from trail Fall 2013

A little history there used to be an old girl scout camp at Cascade Lake. There are remnants all over, cement slabs, a bunch of stone fireplaces, and a stone foundation. If I hadn't known this it would have been creepy seeing this stuff out there.
Taken on 1st trip in Summer 2011
Across from the wall is a lovely campsite right next to the lake with a small man made beach.
View from Beach Fall 2013
 From here it's an easy walk in the woods. For something neat... below I have two pictures taking from the exact same spot on the trail one was taken in Summer 2011 and the other Autumn 2013.

Stream near the end of the trail in Autumn 2013

Stream near the end of the trail in Summer 2011
The changes are kind of amazing.
We have taken the kids on this trail but haven't made it very far with them. Even though it's a semi-long trail it's not hard and we did it on the same day we climbed Bald Mountain. One of the things I like about it is usually it's fairly empty, especially in the Fall. Yet it offers some beautiful views and neat scenery.

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