It’s been cool and rainy for the better part of two weeks here in Louisville. I got a tan in April, but I’ve been wearing sweatshirts in May…. However, things are starting to look up again, and with sunshine in the forecast and a good chunk of free time for both of us, Nick and I wanted to check out Knobstone Trail in southern Indiana this morning.
Knobstone Trail is a 58 mile long trail that runs through multiple forests in the southern part of the state; it mainly runs north-south. I read online that, due to its rugged nature, people will use it to train for hiking the Appalachian Trail. While we certainly weren’t going to tackle the entire trip in a morning, we planned to explore a few miles of the trail from its southern end at Deam Lake.
From the start it looked like the trail would be great for hiking; it was wide and well-maintained. However, we soon found that much of the past weeks’ rain hadn’t completely dried. There were a few muddy spots that we were able to negotiate around. However, after a while we came across some really large patches of standing water that covered the entire path, as wide as it was. My foot almost got sucked down into the mud once!
After a few spots like this, I knew it would be better for us and the trail to turn around. As fun as it can be to get a little muddy running or hiking on trails, it can also damage the environment. Wearing down the trail when it’s wet can quickly erode the earth. Going off the trail to get around mud can be just as detrimental. This is not only unpleasant for those who have to maintain the trails, but also harmful to the animals whose natural habitat surrounds them. (Getting off my soapbox now.)
In the end, we hiked for about an hour and got a taste of what the trail is like. In the future, we’ll wait for a week of dry weather before attempting this trail again. In the meantime, we’re hoping to make a day trip to Red River Gorge this weekend…stay tuned!