Did a long stretch of the Wabash Trace

As I was able to talk my wife into dropping me off on one end and then meeting me at the other end (she went off to nurseries for plant shopping) I was able to do a one-way hike, 12 miles in about 4.5hours (averaged 2.5MPH with stops, about 3.4MPH moving). So I filled in a big gap in my tracklogs:


The wider (outlined) magenta trace is my walk, starting just a bit north of Imogene (the small magenta part I did before) and ending at Malvern (covering a couple of miles I’d done before). So now I’ve done 40.7 miles total and 26.5 unduplicated miles (41.8% of the trail). So I’ve got a lot of gaps to fill in to eventually have covered every mile.

It was a good day for hiking, mostly clear (after storms the day before) and nice mid-60s temps. I met no other hikers or bikers, but encountered a couple of people looking to harvest morels. Despite the trail crossing through heavily human altered (farmland) area the trail itself is sufficiently isolated it feels like a reasonable wilderness walk. The trail, being old rail grade, was effectively flat and a good surface (little mud) so easy walking. A few types of trees were flowering and most of the trees were just beginning to get some leaves. I saw lots of squirrels, a soaring and hunting hawk, a pretty pheasant rooster, and numerous small birds and a few butterflies. So despite this trail not being someplace you’d expect to find good walking this was a nice stretch.

It’s a good thing I had no trouble (getting too tired, any uncomfortable injury) as nowhere could I get cell reception in order to call for help. I arrived at out agreed-upon meeting place (the Classic Cafe in Malvern, nice home-cooked meal and decent beer) just about on time. After relaxed dinner we headed back home in setting sun.

So a few pictures (taken with the crappy camera in cellphone, why do people think these things are any good for photos instead of a real camera) to give a feel for the trail.

iPod 337

iPod 339

iPod 341

iPod 343So you can see the Trace does a good imitation of a real natural trail since by following the old railroad, often in fairly deep cuts, it’s quite isolated from the boring surrounding farmland.

iPod 346Even a small bit of green survives the human alteration of the landscape.

iPod 347And a stream.

iPod 348And a few wildflowers.

iPod 349And reaching the major bridge over the Nishnabotna River (about a mile off from where my maps in handheld GPS thinks this crossing is),

iPod 351And the river itself with high water due to recent rains. This river, when full like this, is a popular canoeing stream with numerous put-in/take-out spots, but I didn’t see anyone on it. But don’t try to walk along its edge (as I once did geodashing) as the mud is very soft and very deep and really easy to get trapped.

So a good day, but it would be nice if there was more lodging along this trail so I could do a multiday walk and pretend I’m doing something like the Camino.

p.s. And just to show the contrast between Trace and immediate countryside here’s a streetview (courtesy Google) of the place I started this walk:










About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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