My training hike at Kings Mountain State Park this past Saturday (4/7/12) was certainly the most “rugged” of my treks so far. The trail I hiked wound through both the State Park and the National Park, which are adjecent to each other on the North Carolina/South Carolina border near Gastonia. The National Park portion of the trail was better maintained with a clearly defined and well-cleared path. The State Park portion of the trail, on the other hand, was about as rough as any trail I’ve seen. Several large deadfalls required substantial climbing, crawling and scampering, while numerous stream crossings and muddy bottoms resulted in some wet and muddy boots. At times the trail was almost completly overgrown and difficult to follow. At one point after navigating a small stream and deadfall I got off the main trail for about a quarter mile and had to backtrack. As a result, my average time per mile was just over 21 minutes, or about a minute longer than my target. It was, however, a good training experience, in that I had to overcome a wide variety of obstacles in order to finish. I don’t expect the Foothills Trail to be quite so rough, but I know I will be prepared for just about any conditions.
Kings Mountain Training Hike – Some Rugged Terrain