Length: 8 miles
This morning, I set off towards the northeast to check off another of Arizona's National Forests - the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The plan was to hike a well-known bike path - the Willow Springs Trail, another of the "30 Summer Hikes" from Phoenix magazine.
Now, while I had no difficulties in following the magazine's directions to the trailhead, following the "correct" trail was a different story! In the magazine article, it stated that the trail would fork after 1/2 mile and that it was advisable to take the right path. Now, after less than a 1/4 mile, there was a fork...clearly too early to be the "1/2 mile" turn-off. Nevertheless, I followed the trail to the right and followed the blue markers. After awhile, I came to another fork and turned right thinking that this was the "1/2 mile" fork. Now, the left trail of this fork was clearly marked with this trail sign, which I chose to ignore (however, I'm blaming this mistake on this other fallen sign!)
I, now, know that I should have followed the trail sign instead of listening to the author's brief summary. Although I didn't get to see the promised marshlands and lake that the original trail detailed, I did see a large variety of wildflowers and several elk. (In fact, at one point I tried to creep up on a herd of 8-10 elk, which was quite the sight to see!)
To see more pictures of the Willow Springs Trail, click here.