April 21, 2013 · 7:45 AM
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This hike is very unique. Where else have you ever seen a creek that cut a clean hole directly through the ceiling of a cave? The trail is 2 miles round trip. Downhill on the way in and uphill on the way back. It's rated as moderate.
Those carpooling from Springfield need to meet promptly at Fast and Friendly at 7:45, on the road by 8. Anyone else that is going will need to meet us at the trailhead.
If time permits, we will also stop off at Alum Cove. This 1.1 mile trail leads down to one of the largest natural bridges in this part of the country. It is in a beautiful little valley enclosed by a rugged bluff line. The natural bridge is carved from solid rock by a small creek and spans over 130 feet. The trail goes across the natural bridge and then loops back underneath. It then loops through the valley, across a small creek to a long bluff line, and back through the valley to the natural bridge. There are large cave-like rooms to explore, and smaller natural bridges which are weathered out of this sandstone bluff. The valley contains a large variety of wildflowers and trees including Dogwood, Redbud, Umbrella Magnolia, and Beech. From the natural bridge, you retrace your steps to the trailhead. This section is steep, so take your time climbing out.
Please bring a day pack with plenty of water and pack a lunch. Don't forget your sunscreen.
As Always, hikers do so at their own risk!