On Thursday morning of this past week, I was itching for a hike, and I had once done a photo shoot at the Dunmore Preserve. It seemed like a pretty cool place with a bunch of trails, none of which I knew anything about. So I enlisted a buddy of mine and we went to see what it was all about. For those who don’t know, the Dunmore Preserve is right across the street form the Holiday Inn on Tigue Street. There’s a tiny gravel parking lot for maybe three cars.
Having no idea where to go, we figured up was a good choice. That’s more or less my default when hiking – head up and see what happens. There’s a paved road that is clearly closed to traffic, so we went that way for a half mile or so until we found a trail to the left that headed into the woods. From there, it was pretty straightforward. There are a lot of trails and none of them are marked. (It’s entirely possible it’s private land, but it’s also evident that it’s a popular place for motorcycles and quads.) Even without markings, it’s pretty easy to follow. The trails are mostly wide and a lot of the side trails are just small loops that connect back to the trail you were already on. I get the feeling there are a ton more to explore than we did, which was probably just over three miles, so I’ll go back and figure out how everything connects.
The trail we found wound its way up the mountain pretty consistently, giving us a peek to the north as we went. It was interesting because the higher we got, the terrain almost started to look like what you would find on much higher peaks. The trees got small and the exposed rocks got bigger. It’s not exactly above-treeline-type conditions but it had that feel in a way. Almost to the top, we found an exposed area that gave a sweeping view to the north, and then a little higher up, there was a good view to the south. This area is what made me think there are other spots to explore. I’ve seen photos with remarkable vistas, but I’m not sure we found that spot. Next time we will.
Either way, there is a great quick hike and a place I had never bothered to visit. but it’s totally worth it. We were only gone a couple of hours, but we had some special views of the valley. Absolutely worth the trip.
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