Courtois from Berryman to Harmon Springs

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Courtois from Berryman to Harmon Springs

Postby GrantTheDad » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:27 am

What a great weekend for backpacking!
We spent Friday night at the Berryman campground. The sites had mostly dried from the rain all week. We knew there wasn't any water and, compared to other places I've been, those pit toilets were pretty nice. It rained a few sprinkles Friday night and Sunday afternoon--no big deal. The weather was cool and humid. This is a well used section and although we didn't see other hikers, we did see bikers and equestrians on the trail and lots of ATV's (crossing the trail, not on it).

We had planned to camp at Edward Beecher Rec Area we saw on the map but didn't really know what that meant. Somewhere on the 'net mentioned a meadow and a spring. As we neared that spot we started to wonder because there isn't much really suitable for campsites--either rock hillsides or brushy hollows. Suddenly we emerged into...a meadow with a spring! Half was covered in two foot tall weeds and the other half is bare from use. The bonfire remnants indicate lots of use. (Come on folks, did you really think that camp chair would burn?) Three different trails intersect at that spot and while we were setting up camp some ATV's came through on one trail and some equestrians came through on a different trail. Popular place!

I guess this is an old cabin site as the spring is capped with a pipe running into a concrete pool next to it. One of the riders passing by said he drinks straight from it. (Not for me, buddy!) Plenty of level ground for me and trees for my friends and their hammocks.

Perfect weather on Sunday (I mentioned a few sprinkles). The leaves are still green and I have never seen as many different kinds of fungi before. Lots of storm damage and downed trees (I'll post in Trail Conditions). A member of our party would like to see more markers, but the trail is so obvious I don't think that would be necessary. More mud as you get closer to the Harmon trailhead. We didn't see the campground part of "Harmon Springs Campground", but then we only needed the parking anyway. This is an easy section of trail--lots of switchbacks when you need them and no really tough inclines. We had 8 and 9 year old kids with us and no problems. A good time had by all!
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