So my wife & I came back here for a day trip to see the Max Creek area. We parked the car in the grass off the side of the road on the East side, I believe it is Hilltop Lane. Not super well marked, just an i and diamond at the road junction with Gilead Church road, and then another where the trail enters the woods. Fine if you are looking for them. There is no trailhead, but you can get off the county road into the grass enough to be ok for a day. We had no problem with the trail, After walking along the trail you make a left (South) down into Max Creek. The Horse trail continues West. The old Block style painted on blue I blazes also continue West here from back when the R2R trail went this way. I know of two different hikers who came from the West and turned back West here and went to the Horse Ranch along the old trail. Follow the White diamond style Blazes to the East.
I actually made the trip back there last week and came in on Taylor Ridge Road off Rt45 from the West. The gravel road is long but decent, the only potential problem is a washed out spot at the bottom of a hill that my Honda got across but dragged the chin pretty hard. You will be ok driving if you have something with a normal amount of clearance like a pickup or SUV. There is plenty of parking where the West trailhead is on the Taylor Ridge Road where it curves in the woods. The trail from the West is decent with the usual weedy spots in the low areas. There are a lot of roses & briars that are starting to crowd the trail that should be cleared sometime soon. But it’s good for now.
Trail North to Max Creek from West trailhead.
A Blue Racer along the switchbacks down the trail. Saw two of them that day, the other at Gum Springs road. Don’t mistake them for Cottonmouths. They are harmless and beneficial. He was just getting warmed up in the sun.
This was during a dry spell. I think there is a spring under that one part of the trail. If it weren’t for the horse traffic we wouldn’t be able to use or even find some parts of the trail. So just get used to the occaisional muck and tromped up areas. It’s nothing we can’t handle until the end of horse season.
My camera SD card is having some issues. The second one I think is the Bluffs at Max Creek. You really can’t get a decent photo until leaf off. The Vortex was messing with my photos of the area again.
Thought this was interesting Three different blazes on the same tree. The old Painted block letter “i”, the wooden diamond, and a newer plastic diamond. None of which were my doing. Ok, I’m sorry I got so carried away at that one intersection. It’ll go away eventually. This was along the Talyor Ridge Road on the way back out.
That’s the only place iffy on the road. The old Honda isn’t much of an off road vehicle. If it can make it, you can too.
I talked to the lady working the Pumpkin Stand at Taylor Ridge Farms just across RT45 from the R2R junction last Fall and she said if people ask permission first, they can park at their farm and Hike from there. I’d call ahead first or drop by if you can. If no one is there you will be stuck parking at Tunnel Hill parking lot a couple Miles out of the way North. There just isn’t anyplace else to park along RT45. (Sorry, I’m not going to publish their number on the web without permission)
You could park at the Taylor Ridge Road trailhead and walk the 2.5 miles West to Goddards Crossing too.