Kids are always excited about the initial leg of any hike: the challenging ascents, the anticipation of a waterfall or summit or wilderness lake up ahead, the sense of working toward a worthwhile goal. But what about the return trip, usually summed up as “Retrace your steps”? Ho-hum, right? Not on this hike! The trip to Table Rock along the Appalachian and Table Rock Trails is as gratifying as any ascent, but the return trip through a maze of boulders dotted with dark caves and mysterious tunnels is far from anticlimactic.
In fact, it is so demanding we recommend that groups with less experienced hikers turn back after exploring the first set of caves and, yes, “Retrace your steps.” (Even though this increases the total hiking distance to 3.5 miles, the hike will be downgraded to a rating of moderate.) The one guarantee we’ll make to those of you who forge ahead: No one in your group will complain about the dull descent!
© 2007 Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.