March 13, 2016.
To get here, take the same entrance as Otter Creek – turn onto the left fork of the gravel road that begins in the truck turnout (the turnout is on the downhill side) on top of Shavers Mountain off of US Route 33. You’ll see a parking area immediately on your left. Park there and cross the road to the obvious trail directly across the road from the parking area. The trail starts as a flat, relatively narrow trail through the mossy forest floor. You’ll cross over a boardwalk (be careful- it’s super slippery when it’s rainy) and continue on the trail. Soon, you’ll start a gentle grade uphill through a series of switchbacks. The trail becomes more spruce-dense as you make your way up the hill. It’s a well maintained trail with no crumbling sections. You’ll come to the top of the ridge and an atv trail goes off to the right; there’s a no tresspassing sign there, so we continued along the trail.The trail goes somewhat downhill from here and follows the ridgeline. Soon, you’ll come upon the boundary sign for the Otter Creek Wilderness area. The trail continues through the mixed forest of spruce and hardwoods. The spruce gets more dense and the trail begins an uphill stint again. A few chestnuts are spread throughout the forest around this section, as well.
The trail rounds the ridge and starts going downhill at this point. This section looks like more of an old logging road or ATV trail. We started a little ways down the trail, but fallen trees and waning daylight caused us to turn around. Here’s the view from the most open section of the trail (though you wouldn’t be able to see it while the leaves are still on the trees.) It’s a pretty typical early-spring scene from this trail.
As we headed back, we noticed that some of the logs had gigantic red fungi on them. After inspecting all of the mushrooms around, we continued back the way we came.The fog moved in pretty steadily at this point and it was hard to see much, including even the bottom of the trail. This is a trail that I’d definitely like to explore further when the leaves are on the trees.