Monday, September 5, 2016

McGee Creek. Never Stop Exploring

After running Sizzlin' Sasquatch Sunday, I decided to head over to McGee Creek to check out some trailz I had read about. I plugged McGee Creek into Google Maps, and away I went. Somewhere between Coalgate and Atoka, my cell phone ran out of any resemblance of a signal, but the Google map app seemed to work albeit slow. So on I went.

It sent me to the location marked by the green arrow, which was a campground. Upon turning into the camp ground, I was an encouraging sign: Potapo Hill Trail. I parked, set my Suunto, and off I went.

Yeah, the trail sign said it was only 1.4 miles. I thought it might be one way (I didn't read the "Loop" on the sign.)

This is everything I like in a trail. A well defined trail, pine needle covered, tall pine trees, wind whirring through the tree tops, bright blue skies.

Of course I had to take an upward tree shot. 

And true to the sign, the trail was a loop, coming back within about 20 yards of the original trail head.

Just across the access road, I found this pond with a trail going around it. BONUS!

A beautiful side trip, but the trail went less than a quarter mile. So it was back to the drawing board. I could not get on the internet with no signal. My iPhone kept saying "sim card not installed." To my knowledge, my phone does not have a sim card. But the google map app was working well enough to give me an image of a gravel road going for miles through the heart of the WMA, but it was around 20+ miles away. So of course I had to go check it out.

The outlined road was a fantastic gravel road, semi-scenic, and I just knew it would take me to the awesome bunch of trails I'd read about.

While this 10 mile stretch of road would make a good run with lots of hills, it was not quite what I hoped to find. 

About half way out, I saw a pull-off area with what looked like a Kodak moment. I was on top of a long ridge, and this was one of only a few places where you could see over the trees to see you were actually on the edge of a long high hill.

The view was grand, but there was no possibility of getting into the dense woods. This is a very vast, secluded, untrafficked plot of land--used for hunting of course. 

There were a few other pull-off areas designated for parking, but it did not look like these had been used for months, maybe years. Occasionally I'd see an overgrown road marked to prohibit motorized traffic.

One such road near this picture had a hint of a road heading downward toward the lake. I parked and decided to give it a good look.

Hoping this would turn into a few miles of trail running, I followed this road steeply downward for .4 of a mile.

The view of the lake was worth it, but at the water the trail ended.

I'm not sure what the purpose of this road was other than upper lake access. 

Not many fishermen would hike down a 174' decent to fish, only to have to climb back out. But I loved it. Just wish it was longer. (TWSS!!)

Well once I got home, I found the map that showed where these miles and miles of trails were located. I was maybe a couple of miles away as the crow flies, but a good 20-30 way by car. The little green arrow marks the trail head, and the map below shows all the trail offerings.

Another road trip is definitely in order!!

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