On the last weekend of 2014 I spent time walking the Horseshoe Trail. The section completed was the stretch between Coventryville Road and Mount Pleasant Road in Warwick County Park.
As I wrote in a previous post, I turned around at a major trail washout because the terrain looked slippery. This afternoon I started again from the Mount Pleasant trailhead. Armed with better boots, I went through the mud and continued along the yellow blazes, only to be confronted by this:
This is the South Branch of French Creek. At its center water would have reached my knees. I chickened out of crossing the Creek in 40 degree weather and turned around.
I then drove to the Coventryville Road parking area. The actual trail is about a fifth of a mile up Coventryville Road. As you walk up the country road and near a school you will see a yellow gate on the right. Past the gate the trail continues along the edge of a farm field and then into the woods to the South Branch of French Creek. Enjoy the sweeping vistas of the countryside before you reach the creek.
Soon enough I was at the South Branch. I tried to ford the creek so I could say I did it, regardless of the cold weather and the depth of the water. But the rock under the water was like glass, and I soon lost my confidence. I turned around again, and concentrated on photos.
The Horseshoe Trail lived up to its name as a group of five equestrians rode through.
This wasn’t a terribly long hike, but I found it satisfying aside from the creek crossing. There is a series of boulders in the creek that people cross on, but as they are high out of the water I’d have problems on them as well. The creek is now on my list of things to do. Its unfinished business, and I will be back to cross it.
Perhaps in different boots, however. In my quest to upgrade my gear I purchased a pair of Asolo Fugitive boots in my new, larger size (13 wide). They fit great and look even better, but I since discovered they have a reputation for not maintaining traction on wet surfaces. I like the boots, but I’ll save them for dry hikes and not for stream crossings.
January 7, 2015 @ 11:42 am
I did that section back in June. I did manage to get across the creek twice. Loose rocks, high water and moss that was like ice made the crossing hazardous to say the least. I actually sustained a minor injury to my left knee, which made the trek back to Hopewell problematic at best, but I needed to get back to the school to complete the section. Hike safely and enjoy.
January 10, 2015 @ 2:54 am
Do you have a guidebook and maps (see WEB site for info on how to get them)? If you do, you will notice that we have a red blazed alternative route to avoid the creek crossing which is not passable in cold and rainy seasons. The reroute takes you thru Coventryville with a n excellent view of old churches and village. Interesting for its history.
Keep us posted on your hike.
Ingrid, Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy, President