This is my post from last year when I first set out to hike The Knobstone Escarpment Trail. Through this January I have covered the trail from Mile 0 out to Mile 20.5, both ways. This first section turns out to be the easiest section I have done so far, by far. If you are interested, scroll back and you can read about other sections too. Here is what I posted after my first leg this past April:
During the past winter I determined that I should walk the Knobstone Escarpment Trail in southern Indiana. This trail is pretty serious business, so in the early spring I started training, extending my usual walks out to from 5 to 8 miles, or even 10.
Since I did not want to rely on others, or have to keep someone else’s pace, I decided to do this by myself which means out and back on every leg. Which also means making it halfway to the next trail head every time.
On April 7th I drove the two hours south to the Deam Lake Trailhead. It snowed a little overnight in southern Indiana, which was kind of rare for the time of year. When I got to the trail head, there was about an inch of snow on the ground. My goal that day was mile marker 4, so about an 8 mile day. I have been told that a lot of people only make 1 mile per hour on this trail, so I was planning on up to an 8 hour day. I carried a full pack with water, overnight survival needs, and a firearm.
I parked at the Deam Lake Trailhead, and off I went. The woods were still in winter condition. Lots of leaves on the ground, and the snow made it a little slick. I am not young, and I am not thin, but I am not stupid. So I set out a reasonable pace on a beautiful day.
I saw 2 deer right away, and later a pair of Rufous Sided Towhee. That was about it for any remarkable wildlife. I made way better time than I had planned on, and reached my goal in a couple of hours. I only saw two people, both on my way back and near the end of my hike. The day went well, and was very enjoyable. I did slip and fall once near the end in some mud.
This trail is rugged and not real well maintained. It’s dirt and rocks and it’s uphill both ways, no matter where you are. The trailhead has been moved, so out and back to mile 4 proved to be 9 miles, and the last 1/4 mile up the hill to my truck was the last 1/4 mile I had in me that day. Cold beer in the truck!
Check out the elevation chart. That is nothing compared to what I would see on subsequent legs.