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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lake Townsend Trails, Greensboro, NC

The day started early. After some pretty rainy days we'd had one day for the ground to dry and I was ready to hit the trails. Lake Townsend, part of the watershed area for Greensboro, NC made the perfect place to get the chance to see what colder weather was doing to the woods around us. I had found most of the caches on the western-most part of Laurel Bluff Trail but need to finish the rest and then come back east along the north side of the lake. This time I went solo as Paula had things to do. She can only stand one good trail hike every week or two and she's done. I'm thankful she is understanding of me and supports my geocaching. I hiked out the trail about 2 miles before arriving at the point where I'd left off previously. It was right along the final approach for Air Harbor, a civilian airfield for small planes on the north side of Greensboro. Just off the run way to the north is the basin of the western-most part of Lake Townsend. When the floodgates of Lake Brandt are closed this area dries up to a small river instead of the lake-sized reservoir that it can be. One of the photos below shows that the water was pretty low in the morning as I started out. I made my way westward along the trail and found a number of regular size caches in the woods. I also ran into two groups of senior citizens hiking the trail. I was impressed as this is almost 4 miles between trail heads on the principle roads. One cache, Just another Box in the Woods (GC11Q8X) had not been found for eight months. There was one attempt a few months previously. It felt good to find this well-hidden, well-cammo'ed ammo box. It was kind of like reactivating the cache after so long. You can see a photo of the cache away from its hiding place above. I made it to the western most end of the trail, crossed the highway bridge to the north side and off I went to the east, working my way from cache to cache to get back to my car and completing a circuit of about 7 miles. The road that got me to the north side is right beside the dam that holds back Lake Brandt. With the recent rains it was time to open the floodgates and allow some of the water to run east into Lake Townsend. As I worked my way east the lake system was to my right. What had been swamp land was rapidly beginning to flood again. Thankfully all the caches are placed on higher ground and there is little impact on the trail. The circuit took me about 7 hours to complete, including time spent searching for caches. I'm soon going to exhaust the hiking trails around here with geocaches. These are the best. I'll take a trail through the woods and large geocaches over urban micros any and every day that I can. I recommend these trails for any of you geocachers who love the outdoors.

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