On a whim, it was decided that we would head to Gaudineer Knob and visit the 2 hiking trails near the top. The first of these is a short, easy loop around the top. This leads through a thick-moss carpet peppered with tall, old spruce and a few young spruce trees here and there. The trail is very flat and easy to hike along.
The trail opens up to an overlook with a bench and wooden railing to prevent falls down the steep incline in front of the bench.
Most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees around the mountains here, but the view was still impressive. You’ll notice the lone, tall spruce off to the left of just about every photo you’ll see of this overlook; It’s somewhat of a staple. As you can see, a few spruce are starting to grow in the overlook area, but it’s a relatively well-maintained, judging by all of the stumps down the hill.
You can see the brushy area down the hill in this photo. I was standing on the wooden rail and my friend hopped up on the bench and snapped the shot. The trail gets rockier for a bit after this, but it’s easy to walk on. One of the rocks has a memorial plaque on top. The loop ends pretty much exactly how it started- mossy and flat.
If you drive past the overlook/picnic area and continue on, you’ll find the Virgin Spruce trail. This is an interpretive trail that has several signs about various aspects of the surrounding ecosystems. The trail does have a bit of a grade, as it loops down the mountain and back up; however, it’s a very easy trail, especially if you’re stopping to look at the signs.
The forest is very lush on this side, even in late October, and you can definitely tell that you’re in the old growth forest given the size of many of the trees here. This trail is a wooded trail that does not feature an overlook. There are lots of downed trees to climb around and walk on, as well. This trail is also a very short trail, so I’d recommend doing both of the trails to make for a full afternoon.