state park site, the red trail is one mile one way. 1 to 2 hours each way. Rated easy to difficult. That rating seemed curious, but I certainly understand it now.
The red trail stays close to Sweetwater Creek the whole way.
The early parts of the trail were crowded at times, but not so bad that it hindered hiking. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care for hiking around so many people, but today it was fun and exciting. I was happy so many were choosing to Opt Out. Also, everyone was in a great mood. Hikers are happy people!
The old mill was about 1/2 mile down the trail. I wasn't pleased with any of my photos of the mill. Maybe the next time I try this trail, it won't be so crowded and I'll be able to get some photos from better angles.
The trail had been fairly easy to that point. Casual hikers generally turn around at the mill.
Susan and I kept going. There were great views all along the way, but the path became more challenging.
A few places had wonderful bridges and steps.
MANY other places were trickier. We went over LOTS of rock piles like this. This is why the trail is labeled difficult. It was not for the faint of heart (or weak of knee). Thank goodness we had each brought a hiking pole. There were a few places where those poles came in very handy.
But how could we possibly stop with even more fabulous views beyond every obstacle?
Getting to the end of the red trail took 1-1/2 hours. We stopped to take lots of photos. It only took an hour to get back. We only stopped at a few places n the return trip. We both felt compelled to conquer this big rock. It had been occupied when we passed it earlier. We knew the view of the creek would be great from there. It was! In fact, I think it would be a grand place to stop and have lunch on a future visit.
By the time we finished, we were spent. Once we sat down, everything started to get stiff. There was talk of Advil or Tylenol. I haven't taken anything yet, but it's still a possibility. I took a long hot shower first and that helped a little. Not enough. Many muscles are talking to me tonight and it's not happy talk. That's OK. Today was truly amazing.