Tiger 1-2-3 Loop

John was back from a visit with family in Tennessee and he just retired at the start of the week. We decided to go for a mid-week headlamp hike. I was able to get out early and we met at High Point at 2:03 pm. The forecast the day before was for some rain. It improved in the morning. We brought umbrellas but hoped for a dry hike. It was a balmy 44 degrees when we started out at 2:07 pm. Just 16 days earlier it was 88 degrees. Summer/fall ended with a bang. It had rained much of the previous day into the morning so I started off with light hiking shoes and gaiters to keep them at least a little dry. We headed up the High Point Trail at a good pace. This was not a crowded trail as we saw only five people for the first half of the hike. Gloves went on and off as the temperature dropped the higher we went. There  was almost no wind going up.

We left the TMT and headed for the Preston Trail on the old railroad grade. Along here we passed a couple of hikers. The woman recognized me and thanked me for my website. That does not happen very often. It was nice to hear. Higher up on the Preston Trail we had our first snow sighting. The trees were a little flocked. This was the first fresh snow we had seen since spring. At the top of the Preston Trail we turned left. With the trail to the right closed by logging a year ago, that is the way to get up Tiger 1. We headed left and then started up to the ridge top road. I stopped to put on rain pants to avoid the wet brush. The high brush of summer has already begun to decrease. It was not too wet. We followed the road uphill towards the summit of Tiger 1. There were now some blue spots overhead. All around us were low clouds. Above were some breaks in the clouds. In places we could see the sunlit tops of the clouds. They made for some great views. We took more cloud photos than any other types.

The gate near the summit was closed. We checked out the new trail that drops down to the Poo Top Trail. The top of the Poo Top was obliterated by the logging. A new trail drops down to the edge of the forest and the old trail. It also continues below the summit to the road on the west side near the Hikers Hut. I noticed both ends of this new trail several months ago when I was last up here. The sign now includes a trail from the top of the Preston Trail to this spot. We could see the start of the trail heading down the north side though it was mostly covered with a thin coating or snow. The sign said it would be finished in "Fall 2022". It was not clear if it is finished or not. There are no trees so it just switchbacks down the bare hillside. This will make ti easy to turn right at the top of the old Preston Trail and follow this new Preston Trail up to the ridge top and connect with the Poo Top Trail.

We continued up to the summit and the closed gate. We dropped back down and took the new trail on the south side of the ridge. This brought us down to where the Poo Top Trail enters forest. We continued what is now an extension of the Poo Top Trail as it heads west over to the road near the Hikers Hut. This trail is very narrow in spots. I hope they plan to widen it as the slope is very steep and the trail very narrow. We reached the road and dropped down to the Hut for a food and water break. Tiger 2 went in and out of the clouds. The Poo Top Ridge was mostly in sight. To the west, Squak Mountain was mostly in clouds. The views east when we first reached the ridge top were completely lost in clouds. We had minimal views but the cloud show was really good.

After our break, we headed down. Just after the low spot between Tiger 3 and 2 is the new replacement for the old trail that dropped to the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT). We had seen the beg erratic rock along that trail from the road on earlier trips. All of the old trail was in forest. Now, there is not forest. It has all been clear cut as well as the summits of Tiger 1-2-3. We decided to take a short detour over to the erratic. With all the clouds visibility was minimal. That was technically the third section of a new trail I had hiked this day. I aim for at least 10 per year. It is strange to get 3 of them on Tiger Mountain where I have been hiking for 39 years. We down shifted for the steep climb up to Tiger 2. From the top we could not see much of Tiger 3 and Tiger 1 went in and out of view.

We soon headed down on our way to the top of Tiger 3. We heard a dog barking but did not see anyone or any dog. Near the new TMT trail where it hits th road we saw some more red flags used to mark trails. A little farther down I went off into the clear cut and picked up what I believe is the new section of the TMT heading north to Tom's Crossing. If so, then there is just a short bit to build to connect up the trial. We left the road and followed a new boot path that follows the old Cable Line Trail up and down a ridge to the base of Tiger 3. The trail is not finished but it is pretty easy to follow.

We climbed up Tiger 3 for a very short stay. I took off my rain pants and we headed down. On our descent we finally began to see some other hikers and runners. Not very many but there were some. The lowest temperature I noticed was on the road on the east side of Tiger 1. It was 33 degrees. Now on our descent it began to warm up a little. I took off my gloves. Our route would cover about 8 miles with almost 2900' of gain. I had an idea to add a little more distance. The weekend was looking wet and blustery so I hoped to get in a longer hike while it was dry. John agreed. When we reached the Bus Trail we turned left and headed west. We continued on past the Around The Lake Trail and to the Gas Line. A little farther we med the road by the Power Line Corridor. A right and then a left turn brought us to Round Lake. I was there on Sunday and was very surprised. I wanted to show John. The lake is almost entirely dry. A big round lake is now a couple of puddles. The waster starts at least 7-8 feet below the normal lake level. Our dry and hot summer evaporated the lake.

We went a little farther on the Wetlands Trail to reach 1 mile from the start of the Bus Trail. We then headed back. It was nearly dark by this time. Dark in the forest and still a little light in the clearings. We took the Around The Lake Trail back to the main High Point parking lot. There was one car left in the lot. The gate is supposed to be closed around dusk. I think it was still open. We still had .30 miles to reach the paved road next to the highway. Part way along this forested trail we had to stop to put on headlamps. We reached the road and walked it back to where we were parked. We arrive after dark at 6:40 pm. One week from now it will be dark at about 5:30 pm as Daylight Saving Time ends.

We had a great hike. It felt like the first winter hike of the year as it was almost freezing with some fresh snow. The cloud show was outstanding. We did not have distant views but the bright white clouds and some blue sky and sunshine made for a great experience. 10 miles with 2900' is a long trip for after work. Our earlier start helped us get up and most of the way down before dark. Soon, our after work hikes will be mostly in the dark. This was John's first retirement hike. It turned out to be a lot of fun.

First Snow
Tiger 1 Ridge
Great Cloud Show!
Big Clouds Over Tiger 2
 New Trails Sign
Blue Sky & Clouds
Poo Top Trail
Snowy Trail
Clouds Over Tiger 2
New Bench
Heading Form T1 to T2
Tiger 2 Is Now Clear
John At Erratic
Jim At Erratic
Dark To Bright
John Atop Tiger 2
More Blue Sky
Still Cloudy Down Low
Cloudy Tower
John Heading For T3
Very Misty
Bright Spot
And More...
Descending From T3
Fall Colors
Very Low Round Lake
Dark Lot
Darker At Cars
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2022