Thirteen hikers set foot to the Blackwater East trail on Sunday, May 29.
Somewhat breaking with tradition, we followed the loop in a counterclockwise direction. This worked out well as we were able to enjoy the views from the upper level while walking downwards. In either direction, this trail is well worth the hike.
Once back at the bottom we took a spur route that switchbacked down to a rocky outcropping on the Blackwater. It took some scrambling and hopping along the rocks and some crawling underneath a tangle of logs but a handful of us made it through and were rewarded with a close up look at some powerful rushing water.
As always there were a few muddy spots near the start to deal with but otherwise, the trail was in very good condition. The wildlife also seem to enjoy it as we consistently came across evidence of bear, moose, deer and mouse in the form of scat along most of its length. As for insects, the black flies have come out but only in small numbers and seemed interested only in checking us out as opposed to harassing us.
Also, the forest service road to the trailhead was in generally good shape and made for fairly smooth driving. Thanks Greg for leading this hike. It was memorable - and in a good way - even for those of us who've hiked it many times before.