Tuesday, September 13, 2011
With a couple of hours to kill, I took what is one of my favorite hikes through Sleeping Giant Park. Out on the quiet northern side of the mountain, parking at the Circle trailhead on Tuttle Ave, this little loop starts with a walk through horse country, a short uphill hike, and then a nice little wander by streams and waterfalls. And since we're still drying out from string of storms that came through this summer, there's plenty of water running.
I hiked along the horse path west from the parking area, past the pastures along Tuttle Ave. Sections are pretty soggy where the water runs off the hills but doesn't quite drain out to the road. Turn uphill at the Red Triangle trail. This one leads up along a stream gorge - nice scenery but little water. There is one steep and narrow section of the trail where it crosses the top of the gorge, but a fallen tree makes a good handrail to lean on. Turn back east at the Violet trail, or for a little more of a workout continue on and then turn east on the Blue trail. Either way, head back north when you get to the Red Circle trail, and my favorite section of streams and waterfalls.
The Circle trail follows another stream back down the mountain, with a series of bends, twists and cascades along the way. Usually pretty dry by late summer, the stream was still babbling away with enough water to feed the falls. Continue on the trail past the Gorge Cascade, and down to the trailhead and parking lot. If you're trucking along, the hike may take about 45 minutes. If you stop and take a break by the water, maybe a little longer.
And if you waste time trying to get the little critters to pose, you can be there all afternoon!