My wife and I have been making a number of dayhikes lately, especially as we seek to finish hiking all the trails at Mammoth Cave National Park.
This weekend gave us the chance to cover the last of the "frontcountry" trails (heavily maintained and improved and usually gravelled the entire length), as well as cover some backcountry trails we've missed.
Saturday morning offered a nasty cold wet rain as we entered the park from the little used southern entrance near Pig, Kentucky. We quickly stepped off on the Cedar Sink Trail, hoping to stay warm with movement.
Despite the chilly rain, we made excellent time on the fairly hard-packed trail.
The view from Cedar Sink Overlook was well worth the 1.8-mile round trip.
The 1/2-mile Turnhole Bend Trail offerred a wonderful view down to Green River at Turnhole Bend.
Sloan's Crossing Trail was a fully-boardwalked .4-mile loop around Sloan's Pond.
The 5-mile there-and-back trip on White Oak Trail placed us back on backcountry trail as the afternoon wore on.
The trail offered historic sites.
White Oak Campsite offered views across to Dennison Ferry Boat Launch, where we began an overnight canoe trip a year earlier.
The other great opportunity was to try out our new hammock underquilts which Sleeps With Skunks made. Despite an overnight low down to 31, with sleet and tiny flecks of snow, we both slept comfortably and warm.
The day's hike consisted of a 7-mile loop covering connector trails and campsites we had not yet covered. We began at historic Good Springs Church.
Despite the very muddy, horse-damaged Good Springs Loop, we made it quickly to Homestead Campsite.
We then headed south on the old hardened roadbed of Turnhole Bend Trail to Sal Hollow Trail. This trail, where no horses are allowed and bicyclists maintain, is the finest piece of singletrack trail in the park. It also offered some enchanting water flows.
We headed back to our car at Maple Springs, happy as the skies opened up to blue and the first sun of the weekend.