Lots of people go to Max Creek without even knowing about the Cedar Wonders trail loop. It is only a couple miles East along the R2R trail East of Garfield Lane. I call it the Cedar Wonders trail because that is what was on the sign where the trail the horses took across the edge of the field Straight East across the triangle at the curve of Gilead Church Road and Garfield Lane. The map shows an old roadbed across there, but it is totally overgrown and you will have to cross the edge of a private field bordering it to go that way, and the footprints and fact that he doesn’t plant that edge of the field might mean it’s ok, I haven’t ever seen the landowner. At one time not so long ago there was a wooden sign at the road for the trail across the guys field. Once you cross the field you will be in the Shawnee.
The alternate would be to drive to the end of Garfield road and pull off the side and take the River to River trail which is almost as short and less confusing though you will just have to go in and back. There is more shoulder at the triangle than there is at the end of Garfield road.
On map 13, it is the area by the camping and water drop icons upper left side. Both of the Valleys there have waterfalls at the upper ends of the ravines, the Eastern one has Easter Basket Arch about 2/3 of the way to the falls on the East side of the valley and the taller of the falls named Tall Falls. The Western Valley has the shorter of the two, but both are very scenic. Climbing to the top along a trail will take you to a trail that pretty well borders the edge of the Shawnee and reconnects with the trail along the edge of the field.
The trails are badly marked, but the area isn’t very big and all the trails are interesting, though there is one that seems to go down the middle and will cut off Tall Falls and the easter basket, even though it is mis marked Tall Falls. Don’t take that one if you are coming in across the field and heading East into the woods. It is actually less confusing because of the extra trails in the area, to go to the wide place where both valleys creeks come together on the R2R trail and just go up the valleys one at a time but you will have a great time no matter how to go. The squares are a mile, and the whole route isn’t very long. We headed over to Gum Springs trailhead afterwards and did Hoggs bluff after calling Camp Ondessonk for permission. (another page)
These pictures are from Last Spring.
The end where tall Falls is, is accessed through a maze of slots. Very cool when you come out up there with a view.
Down the east side of the East valley following the trail, you will see Easter Basket arch on a hill on the west side.
After reaching the R2R a short walk will find the trail into the Western Valley. It has a name for the falls there but I can’t remember the name on the sign.
There is a trail to the top that will lead you back to the field crossing trail if you stay west.