Sweet Creek Falls

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Leader: Joe Sanders
Hike: 3.5 miles, 350 ft (Easy)

The Sweet Creek Falls/Alpha Bits Cafe hike began with a good omen: with the exception of just one person who missed a bus, everyone else who had signed up - actually SHOWED UP! We were "motivationally challenged" at sign-up in the parking lot, with a steady rain, but that was our rain allotment for the day. No rain on the actual hike, despite a warning forecast to the contrary.

As a combination of two short hikes, I had us do the shorter but little known Beaver Creek section (1.2 miles, RT) - first. This trail did not appear to have had any recent foot traffic. There was a lot of minor "blow down" to clear, which our younger hikers took on with great enthusiasm! However having to navigate up and over one huge tree which had blown down some time ago as well as a precarious section with a narrow, somewhat slippery ledge leaves me wary to recommend this supplemental option to hikers without poles or experience in navigating more challenging trail conditions.

The primary destination trail, Sweet Creek Falls (2.4 miles) was easy to navigate and, as expected, offered up spectacular fast moving water/water falls of various sizes, as well as lush rock banks and tree trunks with a thick mantle of verdant mosses, various ferns and other rain forest-type greenery.

Our hiking experience was enlivened by the presence of Chyanne and Autumn Edwards (ages 10 and 6 ) who "allowed" old -timer grandma Roberta Chord to bring them along, and Anna Hougardy (age 11) in the presence of her parents, new comers Mark and Christiane. At one point, they decided to turn themselves into "wood nymphs," adorning faces with streaks of mud "paint" and fern fronds in their hair. Their high spirits and high -jinks were a delightful stimulant for us older psyches.

It was a hungry group which finally entered Alpha Bit's cafe in nearby Mapleton for lunch sometime after 2 PM. This non-commercial, community based eatery did not disappoint . The wood stove was toasty, and after a healthy, home cooked lunch we were offered a desert of either of two "experimental" pies they were trying out, that day. "On the house" - of course! Good value, good attitude, good ambiance. Guess we'll have to do this again! If you're getting out on your own, Sweet Creek hike followed by lunch at Alpha Bits is a winning combination.

Members: Joe Sanders, Roberta Chord, Chyanne Estes, Autumn Estes, Holger Krentz, Jane Dods. Nonmembers: Janel Laidman, Mark Hougardy, Christiane Hougardy, Anna Hougardy, Barbara Gunther, Jennifer Rainy, Alice Krentz.


Beaver Creek—photo by Janel Laidman
click here for more photos from this trip


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