Hike: Conecuh Trail North Loop Trailhead to Mossy Pond, Sat., 03/20/2010, 08:00-12:40
Distance: 8.6 miles Rating: 5/5
Difficulty: Moderate (due to distance)
Elevation at T/H: 275' by GPS Moving Avg Velocity: 2.8 mph
Conditions: Gorgeous sunrise over Open Pond preceded my hike. Enjoyed my quite time with GOD by the lakeshore and then drove to the Trailhead off AL-137. Mild temps warming up to the low 70's by afternoon. Copious sunshine. Calm wind becoming steady but light by late morning. Trail flooded in some spots, deeply in one spot. Had to divert to Forest Service Road to circumvent one flooded area. Was VERY GLAD I wore my Gore-tex hiking boots today!
Absolutely wonderful morning hike. Thank YOU, LORD, for this place and this time. The mist shrouded Longleaf Pine Forest was almost surreal as I hiked from the trail head toward my goal of Mossy Pond. (Note: The US Forest Service sign says 3 miles to Mossy Pond - don't you believe it!) Along the way I was treated to birdsong from numerous passarines, secret displays by woodland wildflowers, the whispers of the wind in the longleaf pine tops, the occassional slap of a turtle entering the water, vocalizations from a disturbed duck or woodpecker, and the peace and grandeur of the south Alabama Longleaf Pine Forest and Gulf Coastal Lowlands.
If I had to sum up this hike in one word it would be: Peaceful. Throughout the time on trail I had an overriding sense of peace and tranquility. There was nothing here spectacular such as you would find at Sequoia National Park. There were no deep gorges exposing ancient history and color. No majestic mountains to climb. No cascading waterfalls or frolicking rapids. Here there was the mist shrouded Longleaf pines with their straight towering trunks and familiar needled-crowns, open and welcoming. This is a special place and I felt at home here.