Monday, July 20, 2015
July 20 (Monday)
July 20 (Monday) - Allergies were killing me since yesterday and by the end of the day I wanted to just go to bed....couple that with my leg being a bit off again, it was a miracle I got out at all. I tried to get Kevin out the door AGAIN but he now takes Mondays off (which is probably a big key to why he's never injured)... I got out late in the afternoon for a slow 6 mile bang in East Madison/Silver Lake, scoping out the new Jackson Ridge Trail. I had checked it out in the very early Spring (while still snow on the ground) and it looked to be just an out and back up to a highpoint to the west of the Goodwin Town Forest in Madison. I was basically bushwhacking, trying to follow blue flags and footprints that were basically only roughly marking where the trail was going to go. I haven't been back there since...and now I knew that they will be doing this hike as part of Old Home Week coming up, so I figured it was done by now. There are still no signs up but they have secured some funds to get them made up (according to the Conservation Commission's latest meeting minutes) so they should be up soon...but I had an idea of where the trail started so I parked down off of the small pond loop on Lead Mine Rd. and headed out to find the new trailhead. I found it off of the newer ski trails they cut in last summer. It was in a slightly different spot than I had found (or thought I found) in the Spring. There are plastic stakes with yellow ribbons marking where the trail goes from Lead Mine Rd up to the trailhead off the ski trail. I came in from the other end and followed the stakes to the street, then turned and went back until I found the (now very obvious) trailhead up. All of the new official trail sections are marked by RED pieces of wood nailed to the trees. It's very easy to follow. It climbs for a good half mile up a section I hadn't found in the Spring. It's a rather steep and hard climb but runnable. The top is the same area I found in the Spring (a small rock pile marking the summit, which has no views). To my delight, the trail didn't just turn around...it went back down the other side for a long way. I followed it down down down and it eventually crosses the powerlines and dumps out on Lead Mine Rd. again almost to the end at East Shore Drive. That end also has some plastic stakes with yellow ribbons. There is a small field there w/ big rock boulders preventing cars from parking there. You can immediately cross the road and continue on the older Conservation Commission trails, which I did to make the big loop right back to the car. My Garmin screwed up right after I crossed the road, as I stopped my watch for a nature break, but the new trail from end to end is 1.5 miles. A very nice addition to the local trails here in Madison for sure. I love the fact that you can cut off a piece of Lead Mine Rd. and just take the trail up and over. It's obviously longer, but you can now make a loop out of it for more dynamic running in that area.
I isolated the section of new trail (Jackman Ridge Tr.) from the good section of my Garmin data that I did get (before I stopped it). Below is the the new trail GPS map... The trail will be great once people start using it and it hardens up a bit. Right now it's still brand new, so it's soft in spots. Max Elevation on my GPS was 856 ft at the top and climbs about 321 ft. or so on the East side of the trail going up.