Saturday, February 18, 2012
Billy Creek and Horsethief Springs Trail
This two loop combination makes for a very nice twenty mile hike/run. If you park in the middle of what is essentially a figure eight, then you can have lunch half way through your adventure.
I decided to do the Horsethief Springs Trail first because it is the longest at about eleven miles. The east side of this trail is in terrible shape. This is largely because it doubles as an equestrian trail and the horses have just made the trail so rocky and rutty and wide. It not even single track trail on this section and you really can't make a good consistent pace because of the technical nature of the trail. If you are doing this run, it might be better to run down the west side of Horsethief Springs and do a small little loop at a place called Gold Divide. It is very beautiful and the mileage is about the same.
If you take that route, you stay on good trail that is very beautiful. If you do decide to do the loop, also be very careful at the bottom of the mtn about finding the western part of the trail. It is very poorly maked at the junction of the east, west trail and Cedar Lake portion of the trail. I think I spent five minutes just trying to find the trail here.
Once back on top, I did the Billy Creek trail and it is much better. Very beautiful and a nice loop althought the hike back up the mtn was very tough but my sciatic was hurting today so most days it is probably not so bad. Once back at the top, you have a long 2 1/2 to 3 mile hike on the Ouachita Trail to return to Horsethief Springs Picnic area where you start.
Great run because you have so many distance options. Never saw a single person out there.
Posted by Mountain Trail Runner at 5:06 PM