It was a beautiful sunny morning but a chilly 27F when I picked up Talley. We were meeting the rest of the Happy Hugger Hikers at Table Rock State Park for a short, get back into the groove hike. We usually hike every Thursday but with Christmas and the Polar Vortex we’ve missed 2 weeks.
We started with the Pinnacle Lake trail. It’s a 2 mile loop around the lake. Just a few tenths of a mile up the trail is a pretty little waterfall with some lovely icicles. It really didn’t feel nearly cold enough for icicles but we did find icy puddles in the shaded areas.
We took the trail counter-clockwise at a leisurely pace and it took us about half an hour to reach the spillway. We lingered taking pictures before heading round the other side of the lake. Pinnacle Lake was mirror flat and reflected Table Rock magnificently.
This trail is quite flat and it was still a bit nippy (Note to self; get a thermometer to hang on my pack) until we got to the rocks and the stream crossings just beyond the spillway. We climbed down behind the lake where Carrick Creek spills out. You can hardly tell where Table Rock ends and the spillway begins here.
Climbing out the other side is where this trail turned up the heat. We had dressed appropriately for the morning chill but stopped to strip off the gloves, ear warmers and outer layer. I understand from my fellow hikers that this trail is new but I couldn’t tell. Lots of mountain laurel, rhododendron and ground cover filling in nicely. Our pace was leisurely compared to some of the previous hikes, so much so that it took us more than an hour to make the 2 mile loop around the lake. With the Carrick Creek trail still ahead of us we needed to step up the pace if we were to make our lunch ‘reservations’ at the Pumpkintown General Store & Cafe’. So with Harry in the lead, Brenda, Talley, myself, Allen trying to keep up and Dean prodding us along we stepped up the pace on the Carrick Creek trail.
This is a beautiful 2 mile trail. Talley, Dean &I hiked part of it almost a month ago when we went up Pinnacle Mountain Trail to Bald Rock.
The entire creek side of the trail was hung with large icicles but luckily most of the stepping stones for the stream crossings were high and dry. There were a few sheets of ice to avoid but we did easily. I’ll be taking friends and family on either or both of these hikes this year!