I ventured into the unknown with this one, never having seen the trail. With a printout of Lee’s description, which I consulted many times, I made my way through the easy first five miles, then the loose shale rock, mimicking the feeling of running through snow or sand, sometimes infrequent blazes, and completely overgrown logging roads. The biggest challenge was the chest high elderberry bushes, briers and grass that blocked the path, slayed my ankles and thighs, and concealed every foot strike, mostly between miles 15 and 18, and sporadically throughout. Calf sleeves acted as armor for the shins. Spider webs covered my body, and a couple rainstorms washed them away. Thus is August! The lake view - ah, how soothing. That final switchbacking climb was brutal, and I collapsed to the hands and knees, with calf and inner thigh cramping. Was it worth it? Always.
My Garmin fenix 5s clocked 25.16 miles, with 4,356 feet of elevation gain and 3,461 feet of loss.