Sunday, March 21, 2010

Red Triangle and Circle Trails

3/20/2010 3¼ miles, 2 hours
Sleeping Giant State Park

Gorgeous morning for the next hike around Sleeping Giant.  Halfway up the 400' ascent, worthy of a mountain goat (granted, an old crippled one) the phone rings.  Yes, the phone - how else will I call for an air lift when I collapse?   "Is there an extra key on your keyring" the boy asks.  Why, yes there is!   "It's for the office, I need it to get into work."

OK, back down the hill.  I started hiking to get a little exercise, so what's an extra mile, right??

These are the next two north-south trails, in roughly the center of the park.  A little tougher, they work their way up and then back down the mountain, peaking near 600’ feet elevation.  I entered the park at the south Triangle trailhead across from Hogan Road.  It’s a steep hike up to the White trail crossing, leveling out as it crosses the Tower Trail, and then an easy hike back down, exiting at Tuttle Ave.  The trail runs along a stream and waterfall near the Tuttle Ave trailhead.

Take the horsetrail east along Tuttle Ave to the Circle trail entrance.  The horsetrail (also a cross country ski trail if there was snow) looks like it’s been re-marked recently – white horeshoes on a black background.  Though it would be easy to follow even without markings.  There’s always another way to know you’re on a horse trail – just watch your step!

The Circle trail goes along a stream past the Gorge Cascade – a long set of waterfalls.  Stop and relax by the stream as you hike along.  After a couple of steep sections, there’s a clearing with log benches set up just south of the falls.

The trail levels off to a more gentle ascent as it goes over the top of the mountain.  Peak elevation here about 570 feet.  Coming across the top, I thought I was chasing a flock of turkeys, gobbling like crazy.  Nope – there are several small ponds full of frogs croaking like there’s no tomorrow.  Check the video clip.  The frog song roughly translates as “Hey baby, over here.  No don’t look at that loser, just hop over here to my log”…  Heading south, back down the mountain, the trail crosses the Orange and White trails.  A couple of steep sections, but not a difficult hike.

These trails make a great Waterfall hike – Enter the Red Triangle trail at Tuttle Ave.  Turn east at the Violet trail, and take it to the Red Circle Trail.  Take the Red Cirle back north past the Gorge Cascade to Tuttle Ave.  You’ll hike about 1 ½ miles along two streams and a half dozen sets of falls.

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