Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daily dose of Lucas County: Solitude

So you want to be alone? Well, this is one of many places in Lucas County where you can manage that much of the time --- the most remote public access area of the Whitebreast Unit of Stephens State Forest southwest of Lucas at 12:30 p.m. on a gray to hazy Thursday with rain threatening to move in by mid-afternoon. There are thousands of acres of state forest in Lucas County. Those to the southwest are the most accessible. Units in the northeast tend to be less developed and in wet weather accessible only on foot.

To get here, drive through the Whitebreast equestrian unit to the main encampment area then take a right down a one-lane road the meanders up and down hills through the woods. The roads are in good shape right now, but the hundreds of miles of equestrian trails in this unit are temporarily closed because of all the rain.

The timber here is mixed oak and shagbark hickory (that's a hickory turning its autumn color in the distance up top). And the ground is covered with acorns and hickory nuts --- I'd have picked up a few if I'd brought a container. And how about that snazzy new top on the picnic table. I believe this is part of an Eagle Scout project.

The area is a dead-end right now, although an unimproved road continues to the west. The last time I was down it, however, beaver had dammed a creek and I couldn't get through so had to turn around and come back out. That's another road I'll have to head down again if it ever dries out.

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