Valley Of The Giants and Dollar Lake

Another great solo hike on the North Country Trail (8-5-17).  Clicked off another 7.2 miles towards my 100.  Cool and wet this morning, so it took approximately 20 steps to get my shoes and pant legs soaked!  But that’s ok, they were dry by the time I was done.


Robert met me at the Mayfield Road crossing, had a quick bite and replenished my water, it’s nice to have a support vehicle if it’s needed.


After leaving the crossing, hiked down the two-track and re-entered the woods and began to work my way down a very large ravine.  At the time, I didn’t know I was entering the “Valley of the Giants”, but I did notice a lot of huge, old growth oaks and pines.  Also crossed Twenty-Two Creek, which meandered at the valley floor.


There was no way I was going to fit this ‘giant’ into one picture.  After a few miles of following the creek, I began the long climb out of the valley.  I noticed a sign handing over the trail and when I turned around. . .


Aah Ha!  I guess I came in through the back door, I kind of wondered why everyone I met was going the opposite way??  Not far up the trail, someone had built this beautiful sign next to a hug oak.


Finished this hike at Sheck’s Place Campground, (no, I didn’t see him!) had a nice picnic lunch and headed home

Two days later (8-7-17)…Since the wind was not conducive for Robert to ride another section of the North Central Trail, we decided to hike the next section together, which means an out-and-back hike.  We started at the Muncie Lakes Parking Area and hiked north to the Dollar Lake Trailhead and returned (8 miles).  Another beautiful day, low humidity and quite breezy, for August, this is quite a treat!

Didn’t realize we’d be hiking a cross-country skiing area, but that was fine with me, I knew the trail would be well maintained, and it was.

Taking a quick break before climbing this very large hill, thankfully there were switchbacks once we got back into the trees!


We came to Dollar Lake and realized that there are very few lakes that are uninhabited, what a treat!


Unfortunately, we came across some illegal campers and once we got to the trailhead, seen the damage they inflicted so they could drive their vehicle down the trail and to their camping area.  We turned around to begin our trip back and stopped for lunch at a bench that was just begging for some company!

Overall, it was a great hike.  Met up with some ‘fat-tire’ riders once we were back in the ski area.  I think we had the easier trek, the folks on the bikes looked like they were working much harder than we were!  This hike put me over half-way (53 miles) to my goal of 100 miles, so as they say…it’s all downhill from here!

Until the next adventure…




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