Elizabethtown is a nice small town with a couple of bed & breakfasts and restaurants. It is traditional to wet your feet in the Ohio before you get started. I actually did this leg over parts of 3 days early last Spring, which is why the lack of color. I was actually traveling South from High Knob but I’ll turn it around for continuity.
There are some nice views from here and the floating café would have been great, but it was undergoing renovation at the time.
Walk out of Elizabethtown is along a county road and takes you to the North, then Northeast for a ways until it turns and enters the Forest. Your legs will feel it right off the bat as you climb up an old road to the top of the ridge.
Further North and you will pass a couple of Lakes. I believe the southern one is Whoopie Cat Lake. I spent the night there on the way down. There was a nice pine woods to pitch a tent and listen to the wind. I slept really well there. (After leaving Lee Mine..I was heading South) The coyotes weren’t around that area that night, but I did hear them off in the main part of the Forest. The Forest leg up there is not all that wide and I think they may prefer the deeper woods, or maybe they were just visiting some of their coyote family up North.
Traveling north, the trail crosses Hogthief creek several times. Somewhere along here if you keep an eye out on the West side, you will see an old homestead site and a really dead 1958 Pontiac 4dr hard top on its side up against a skinny dead tree. Just staying up from habit I think. It does have Power Steering which was a very rare accessory at the time. (I’m somewhat of an old car buff)
This is an old roadbed, but most of it has been abandoned so long that you have to look hard to see the occasional driveway turnoff. The trail does takes several turns onto active roads along this section but the walk is nice.
The parking lot and black hash marked circle on the map is Iron Furnace. It is only a 1/4 mile up the cross road and a nice place for a picnic and to check out the restored Civil War era furnace.
On ahead, more signs of old homestead sites.
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There are a couple of deep creeks on this leg. This one I crossed by walking West along it until it forked and then crossing both forks at rocky areas. Wouldn’t hurt to carry water shoes for these areas. I did them barefoot which probably isn’t a great idea. I have heard of people having to wait a day until the water receeds after a rain.