Spring is almost here

Mountain Secrets

Tony KrizanApril 10, 2013 

It's time to open the closet and dust off your hiking gear. The winter snowpack is melting and that means all the seasonal streams are flowing. Especially the major streams and one particular water source is Lewis Creek. The parking area to this historic creek is located north of Oakhurst on Highway 41.

From the parking area hike down to the junction sign to make your choice to preview Corleau Fall located down-stream, or hike across the creek on the old log bridge and you'll have two additional choices. Hike up stream to Red Rock Fall or follow the unused trail to the right that will lead up to Charles Corleau's cabin foundation.

After seeing the cabin foundation keep hiking toward the mountain following an old abandoned road and trail. This trail will continue bearing to the left until it crosses a small stream. Keep following the trail as it bears to the left above the stream. Only another few hundred yards before reaching a small ravine, then look to the right along this ravine and you will see an abandoned mine.

This is a hard rock mine now enjoyed by mountain climbers. If you have water-proof boots you can walk inside up to 60 feet. Return by retracing your footsteps back to the cabin foundation.

To get to Red Rock Fall hike back to the log bridge and up-stream following Lewis Creek for roughly a mile on an easy traveled trail. After the second small wooden footbridge expect an increase in elevation. When arriving at the top you'll see the remains of a foundation of another cabin. I was told this is the remains of a guest cabin from a failed resort business.

Another 15 minutes hiking and on the right of the trail is the sign reading Red Rock Fall to the left. During the spring you will hear the water cascading over the fall while hiking up the trail. For excellent views follow this trail down below the fall. On your return, retrace your footsteps back to the log bridge.

Remember the first choice I gave you entering the creek area? Hiking to the right leads to Corleau Falls. This is a must see during the spring run-off. A few years ago the forestry built an observation platform for visitors to enjoy this spectacular view of the water dropping from the elevated cliff. Once again on your return, retrace your footsteps back to the parking area along Highway 41.

Don't forget the witness the wild flowers during spring and early summer. In one day it is possible to preview all three hidden treasures along Lewis Creek. Take your time and plan three separate adventures.

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