I arrived at Vogel State Park later than I had planned, and wanted to complete Bear Hair Gap in time to be able to set up camp before dark. I didn’t take as many mental notes about the trail but my overall synopsis is: thumbs up. Not a challenging or particularly “oh wow” views, but still a nice hike with a some elevations to get the blood pumping.
The trail provides numerous views of the streams. We had a fair amount of rain recently, so the streams may be less active when you visit. There were a few small footbridges and I believe 2 ‘stream-ettes’ that you have to cross. Even with considerable rain recently, they were not a challenge.
Not a lot of spectacular views along the way, but here are shots of the ridgelines along the way. In the spring/summer, you wouldn’t see much.
Take the time to do the Vogel Overlook… it is more uphill and the trail is rather ‘rooty’ and a bit uneven, but it is worth the effort.
There were some interesting rock formations… not a lot of rock outcroppings, but these caught my eye. The trail by the large round rock (last 2 pics in this series) is a bit tricky – nothing dangerous, but if you’re new to hiking, you might trip.
There seemed to be a lot of trees down. Not in a pattern like from a tornado. None that you had to climb over on the trail, but a few required you do ‘trail limbo’ (ie leaning over or bending down). I didn’t include pictures of those. Not sure what sort of overhaul is going on at the park – as there was A LOT of heavy equipment around the park. The equipment was not in the trail system but it was clear ‘something’ had been going on.
Including the Vogel Overlook and a bit of “off trail exploring”, my hike was 4.9 miles. I did it in a little over 2 hours. It was not my normal leisurely pace. I would have liked to spend more time at the Vogel Overlook, but I was in a rush.
Here’s the official trail map: http://goo.gl/Rf2Ho