On Saturday morning, my dad, my brother Tyler, and I ran the Stone Tower Loop. There are so many interesting things to do and see on this loop run. I highly recommend trying it... but only if you're in good shape. The climbs were insane!
If you are interested in running the Stone Tower Loop, here are directions and a map. Everything you need to know about getting to the trail head and how to navigate the trails are at those links.
We parked at the Stone Tower Trail head a bit past Dehart Dam on route 325.
First, we followed the red blazes, which was a connector trail. We did not go up the Sand Spring Trail (blue blazes). We would go down it later to finish the loop.
Once we started running, it was less than a quarter mile until we got to the first interesting obstacle- a cable bridge that would help us get across Clark Creek. Luckily, the cables were taut and it wasn't too hard to get across. Here's Tyler, showing how it's done!
Then it was up... up, up, up, up! Lots of boulders, a little bit of running, but basically a climb up the mountain for the next mile and a half.
Once at the top of the mountain, we got to the Stone Tower. I wouldn't have seen it if I didn't know to look for it.
There was a VERY deep pit up there by the tower. I took a picture, but it's hard to see how deep it is. Surely it was man made, but for what?
That's my dad, being stupid and going across some rocks along the pit.
Dad, what are you trying to prove!?
Then we ran down a bit to the Appalachian Trail. I didn't realize this, but this part of the Appalachian Trail is not at the very top of a mountain but down a bit between two mountains. When we hit the AT, it was right at the mailbox at Yellow Springs.
All of the trails to this point in the run were not as well maintained as the AT. For the next two miles or so, we enjoyed the nice, wide, clear AT trail. Tyler entertained us with a couple crazy stories about when he used to go camping with friends.
Soon, we got to a sign that instructed us to turn left to go onto the Sand Spring Trail and check out The General.
We passed a cool fire pit!
Finally, after about another half mile, we got to The General! No one knows how it got there. It's just chilling in the middle of the woods. It is thought to have been there since the 1930s. Obviously, we took a ton of pictures!
Then it was up the mountain again. It was so steep! And then... down the other side via boulder jumping. I was glad we went early before it got warm and the snakes came out!
Once we got down, we searched for Sand Spring. I don't think you're going to find it up there, Tyler!
Found it! The spring was bubbling. So cool!
We were all pretty tired by this point, but there wasn't much farther to go before we would be back at our car. We passed a boulder field on the way.
I wonder how many snakes are in there sleeping!?
Back across the cable bridge!
In less than a quarter mile, we were back at the car! I felt like a noodle! It was only an 8 mile loops but it was a very challenging 8 miles!
What a fun day in the woods with my family! I would love to do this run again, but it will have to be early in the morning when it is cold out because I do not want to run into any snakes that could be on those rocks!
How do you think The General got there?