So I get to Goddards crossing which is a house on the west side of Rt 45 with a R2R diamond on their mailbox post. There is no place to park anywhere around there. Not Taylor Ridge Road to the south where the R2R comes out, it’s just a narrow gravel road with no shoulder to speak of. Nothing from there all the way to the North a few miles. You can’t park along the Highway unless you want to be towed.
I’ve talked to the people at Taylor Farms and they will give permission to park at their farm across from Taylor Ridge Road if a person asks. I parked there since on a 5 day hike that only lasted a day and a half but we won’t go there. Park At Taylor Farms if you can stop by and get permission, park at Tunnel Hill if you can’t. I Started this section with Tunnel Hill.
Coming out the other side, take the road left off the trail and go until it meets 45, then go South until you see the trail crossing sign and look for the diamond on the mailbox post, then cross 45 and walk past Goddards house (they were working on a 4 wheeler in the backyard when I walked past) and enter the woods. It’s just a couple of miles till you are there, or if you don’t care about a couple of miles in the woods along an old roadbed, just take the tunnel hill trail on south until you see the R2R crossing just before the trestle and Little Cache #1 Lake spillway. (Map 12) You will miss some old farm implements and homestead areas, and a nice walk along some powerline right of ways that are actually pretty scenic strangely enough.
There is a T intersection where you turn left on a trail, then turn right down a long perfectly straight old roadbed past the corn picker to the power line right of way, then walk along it for 3 power poles before crossing and entering the woods.
There IS a work around if the weeds are tall & soaking wet like they were when I was there in the early fall morning. But I didn’t have anything to mark it with and the trail is unmarked. Coming East, the option is to just cross the right of way and enter the woods on the trail that goes that way instead of following the R2R blazes. I had to back track to see where it connected and it connected at the T mentioned earlier from the other direction . I may blaze it as a shortcut some day.
So now you get to Tunnel Hill Trail. I know this jogger I saw was surely thirsty and offered him a bottle of water. Thanks but no, and off he went north.
Some nice scenery here so spend a few minutes walking out on the trestle and looking around. Surely that is why you came?
Continuing across the Dam, the trail curves left up an old rough roadbed then right into the woods.
Some nice hiking along the way after a 1/4 mile of the most overgrown section of the trail. I was already soaked from the powerline right of way dewey weeds and the thick green crap growing here did in the rest. Hopefully a killing frost has happened before you go.
This was what I was talking about ^
When You get to the REALLY wide gas line clearing, you will be stumped. There is no sign of a trail on the other side. Looking North (Westbound) you will see an orange & white gas line marker pole WAY off. Maybe 1/8 mile. Probably less. That’s where you cross. Eastbound just go South and look for the marker by an opening. Trust me it’s pretty far South. The 2 times I have crossed here the grass was well mowed by the gas company.
It comes out on a Gravel road “Bowman Bottoms Road” and curves West under I-24
At the end it makes a jog to the right at the “T”. According to the old map it takes the Dutchmans Lake access road (Fishing hole road), but there is the new trail right off to the West at the intersection. If the trail is overgrown, It’s up to you. The road goes to the same place.
It looks pretty unused & grown up here, but it is actually pretty unused & grown up in there too. It follows yet another old roadbed all around the lake and finally comes out at the East end of the Dutchman Lake dam. (Where you meet the access road again and realize why people just go down the access road.) It was ok, I got my fill of persimmons this way.
Dutchman Lake is very beautiful. It was a great place to have lunch. The trail continues over the dam and curves off to the left.
It had turned overcast on this trip, the last 2 photos were later with my wife.
The R2R meanders around after leaving the Lake awhile before turning into yet another old roadbed. Most of the Shawnee was farmland before the Government bought it out for a National Park, and there are abandoned roadbeds all over the place. Most have pretty well disappeared since they weren’t much to start with.
I’ve been told by 2 sets of hikers that this beautiful woods was destroyed by a wind storm this past late Spring and it is very hard to get through. I was there today, the North end is ok, but it is very torn up about halfway through. Someone has tied blue ribbons around the East side to help get around it. Follow them. There is a Horse trail around the west side but it ends up going down to the lake again.
+. It’s a shame, it was one of my favorite parts.
Then it comes out on Twinz lane which is ok, then meets up with Tall Tree Lake Road. Ugh. You will hate Tall Tree Lake Road. 6.4 Miles from Dutchman Lake to Ferne Clyffe state park. A LOT of it is blacktop. Actually ALL of Tall Tree Lake Road, and Rebman Lane.
There wasn’t a lot to take photos of, but I did anyway.
Eventually, and hopefully with more light, you will get to Ferne Clyffe State Park off Rebman Lane. Also hopefully you took a trip behind a tree before you got on Twinz road, because that’s a long hike without a bathroom break.
The Tent camp was not very far into the woods. Maybe 1/2-1 mile. I was glad because it was getting dark and according to my map it was supposed to be way over on the other side of the park. A very nice place to camp. The first ever for me tent camping in a campground. There was another tent, but I never saw anyone at it.
End of part 1