Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012 - Richard-Martin Trail

Sunday we walked so far we found ourselves in a whole other state!

On a day that could have easily been spent hanging out at home and generally taking it easy, Esther and I set out to explore the north half of the Richard-Martin Trail, part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. It starts about five miles south of Elkmont, Alabama and runs another six miles past that, all the way to the Tennessee border. Here's a route on Google Maps of the entire trail. We hiked the south end with our friends about this time last year but hadn't been back since.

Esther at the trail head
The trail is just about everything you could ask for in relaxed walking this time of year. The majority of the path is in the shade most of the day, the slope is easy-going and unnoticeable. On Sunday the weather was nice enough to provide a breeze to keep us cooled off.

Only about a mile down the trail and we spotted a little bit of what hikers on much longer treks call "trail magic". It was the right day for it, but we never really seriously expected to find this on the side of the walkway...

We wold later pass the grandmother and two grand-daughters connected to the eggs, but for a few moments it was really just for us.

New wildflowers are up every day now. Some, like the very early-season Black-eyed Susan below, are a little out of place this time of year.

We had the pathway to ourselves for most of the day but at a few points we did share it with other feet and a few hooves.

Multiple bridges are spread across the length of the trail as well as few other distractions on the way.

The track log of our trip can be found here with a few points of interest along the way (avoid the covered bench it's got carpenter bees!)
Total mileage: 12.1 miles
Total time: 4 hours, 38 minutes

More pictures can be found here, including Esther with antennae looking like some sort of strange, we-are-not-ammused queen bee.

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