Hiking the Gorge Trail-Salt Springs State Park

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Over the last ten years, the popularity of Salt Springs State Park has exploded.  It’s easy to see why-the park features a diverse array of features, such as waterfalls, gorge, boardwalk, old growth forests, meadows, and streams.  And, of course, there is history and the salt spring itself.

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The state park is one of the few managed by a non-profit, the Friends of Salt Springs Park.  They have done an excellent job expanding trails, cabins, and campsites.  Support this great organization.

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We visited the park to explore a few of the new trails.  Our first hike was to the North Creek Trail, and began by hiking the scenic Silver Creek Trail with its gorgeous hemlocks and large trees.  The North Creek Trail, blazed red, was on the right and dropped to Silver Creek, but the creek was a little high so we didn’t cross.  The North Trail appeared to cross meadows, and looked a bit grown over, so we decided to hike it some other time.

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Another new trail is the Gorge Trail, which explores the west side of the gorge and its waterfalls.  This was a beautiful trail as it explored hemlocks at the edge of the gorge, with views of the creek and waterfalls far below.  The trail descended to Fall Brook and followed it for a ways, before climbing to a meadow with wildflowers.  We then reentered the woods and soon reached Buckley Road.  We turned left on the road, and then left on the Fall Brook Trail for more streamside hiking.  The Hemlock Trail soon followed with its awesome old growth forests, boardwalks, views of the gorge, and Penny Rock.

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The towering hemlocks and pines at Salt Springs are truly stunning, and reminds me of a smaller Cook Forest.

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We hiked down to the small salt spring and returned to our car in the busy parking lot.  This loop was about a mile long.

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While this trip featured a short hike, there are almost 16 miles of trails at Salt Springs that offer a lot of solitude away from the gorge and waterfalls.  These trails feature old fields, meadows, forests, ponds, wetlands, ledges, and streams.  It is a beautiful place to hike.

More photos.

Trail map.

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