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.
And 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: