We'll meet at Red Lock Trailhead at 10:30 a.m. to hike the Valley & Buckeye Trails Loop at a moderate+ pace. We'll hike approximately 6.5 miles. This may be considered both a moderate and a strenuous hike--depending on your fitness level. The Buckeye Trail in this area is rated as "difficult" and "most challenging" of the sections in the CVNP by the Park Service as it is a very rugged trail - as are parts of the Valley Trail included in this loop.
If you are familiar with the BT sections to the north & south of this section, you can expect a more rigorous and foot-placement-monitoring sort of hike here than with either of the other two. Beyond the typical stream crossing and heavily rooted trail, this section includes more crossings, more roots, more frequent elevation changes, narrow paths, fallen trees, loose surfaces, steep grades, a little briar, and a bit of mud (it's a workout) -- but also a variety in pleasant scenery. It is a winding, up-and-down trail through both open & dense woods, ravines, meadow grass, wildflowers, and a river view.
If you arrive after we've started hiking and would like to catch up, we'll be traveling counter-clockwise, starting with the Valley Trail from the Red Lock entrance.
*Please see the maps below. [You might also want to print a trail map to carry in case you decide to explore the trail at your own pace.]
*Please don't forget your water... and sturdy shoes.
See you there!
Red Lock: http://goo.gl/maps/L7YH
Trail Map: http://www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/upload/CUVAmap1_2012.pdf