May 27, 2012. Read about the second half of this adventure at Table Rock here.

One stormy Sunday morning, we were determined to find the Table Rock Trail in Tucker County, WV. We knew that it was on Canaan Loop Road, but knew little else. As we made our way through Canaan Valley, we saw some cloud-to-ground lightning in the distance, but decided to forge ahead and wait out the storm if we had to.

As we made our way down the road, we passed many trails along the way, but none were the Table Rock Trail. By the time we got to the Pointy Knob Trail, we had assumed that we had passed our destination and were tired of driving- we figured that hiking some trail would be better than nothing.

156588_4195104680574_1878328303_nThe trail immediately begins with a stream crossing after navigating over a few riverside boulders. It winds its way up the mountainside on a relatively washed-out trail. Most of us were wearing old sneakers rather than hiking boots- which was a bad combination on the washed-out trails left saturated by the storms. We fell several times.

536117_4195084960081_2016761256_nThe trail was steep and washed out in many places, but it also criss-crossed several times over a small, usually shallow stream. The entire area, of course, was covered in a thick rhododendron forest.

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The forest is very verdant as the trail winds around. We finally made it to the trail shelter just in time – another storm was rolling through. As we were hanging out in the shelter, a couple of mountain bikers joined us. We asked if they knew where Table Rock was- and they did! They told us that we simply hadn’t driven far enough, and that the trail we were on didn’t really lead to much. We decided to turn around and find Table Rock.

521533_4195099040433_54594503_nWhich meant going back across all of those millions of stream crossings….and down the hill- which somehow proved to be less dangerous than going uphill; nobody fell on the way back out.

577626_4195093320290_2054792010_nSomebody had, however, met their untimely fate on the trail. We hadn’t even seen whatever captured this guy in the time that we had been away.

581268_4195103800552_1513609429_nWe also found the happiest tree on earth. Finally, we got back to the car and began driving once again to find the Table Rock Trail….after a while, it became apparent that we had biked the same road just a year prior- but had had no idea that we had passed the Table Rock Trailhead.

Click here to read the rest of this adventure log.

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