This is a nice loop which gets you back into the less traveled southern section of Stokes State Forest. This hike takes you through the woods below the ridge until it meets Brinks Rd. where it picks up the AT for the return. The AT heads along the ridge with some great views of Culver's lake. Most of the trail is on old woods roads and the climbs are gradual, but some of the sections are lightly used singletrack.
A very large beaver pond has submerged Brinks Rd. and you have to bushwhack around it.
Hike from Strubbles Rd. on Steffen Trail
to just before Woods Road
, taking Criss Rd. instead to the northwest away from the Appalachian Trail. Hook up with Stoll Trail
for a short hike through an old pine forest (there may be many blow downs on this trail) to Diamon Rd. Hike a short distance to the southwest along the road where you pick up the Shay Trail
The Shay Trail
is not marked by a sign and the trail markers are behind leaves, but it is a gated old wood road. Follow Shay Trail
uphill for about a mile to where it meats Brinks Rd. Follow Brinks Rd. to the left for a short while where it dead ends at a beaver pond which has submerged the road. Go below the pond and find away across the outlet stream looking for Woods Road
on the other side.
Head back to the pond on the Red Maple Trail
) until you find the intersection where Brinks Rd. comes out of the pond. Head up Brinks Rd. past the AT shelter to find the AT. Go north on the AT back to Rt 206 (visit the Acropolis on the way via a short pass on Acropolis Trail
Once at Rt. 206 you have two options. As mapped, follow the shoulder of 206 north to Struble Rd. and take a left to head back to the parking lot. BE CAUTIOUS OF TRAFFIC! This road is very busy so use your best judgement here. Alternatively, if you don't want to deal with the traffic, leave a second car at the AT parking lot. At 206, cross the road and follow the trail to the AT parking lot.