Twin Oaks Trail/Loop (Green Ridge State Forest)

The sign indicates that Twin Oaks is a microcosm of GRSF.  That's pretty accurate: it had elevation changes and stream crossings, although water was pretty scarce.

The sign indicates that Twin Oaks is a microcosm of GRSF. That’s pretty accurate: it had elevation changes and stream crossings, although water was pretty scarse.

The Twin Oaks Trail is in the northern end of Green Ridge State Forest.  It’s two miles long, and its name is derived from the old Twin Oaks Schoolhouse, which is now privately owned.  One of the more interesting aspects of the trail is that it forms a four-mile loop in conjunction with the Pine Lick Trail, and the trailhead is near the school on Double Pine Road.

This is the elevation profile for Twin Oaks Trail and the section of Pine Lick Trail that forms the loop.  I was unaware of trail profiles until Candee started to chart them for local sections of the Appalachian Trail.  In spite of being "prepared," I'm usually surprised by long hauls on uphill sections!

This is the elevation profile for Twin Oaks Trail and the section of Pine Lick Trail that forms the loop. I was unaware of trail profiles until Candee started to chart them for local sections of the Appalachian Trail. In spite of being “prepared,” I’m usually surprised by long hauls on uphill sections!

Hiking on the Twin Oaks Trail does have its ups-and-downs.  There aren’t any dramatic changes in elevation, but the trail does emulate a roller coaster ride in that very little of it is flat.  Generally, I enjoy going up and down hills, but the 90+ degree temperature did make the going a little bit uncomfortable.  An overabundance of annoying insects didn’t help either. I can’t complain too much though because that’s a part of pretty much every hike this time of year.

This is a would-be stream crossing on Twin Oaks Trail.  There are a number of these on all of the trails in the forest.  We counted over twenty when we FINALLY hiked the length of the Log Roll Trail.  During our last hike in Green Ridge, we also had some interesting wading opportunities while crossing Fifteen Mile Creek on the Pine Lick Trail

This is a would-be stream crossing on Twin Oaks Trail. There are a number of these on all of the trails in the forest. We counted over twenty when we FINALLY hiked the length of the Log Roll Trail. During our last hike in Green Ridge, we also had some interesting wading opportunities while crossing Fifteen Mile Creek on the Pine Lick Trail

Much of Twin Oaks follows old roadways, but the parts that are a single track were a bit overgrown and laden with briars.  Along with high water problems this winter, we were also thwarted on the Log Roll Trail last summer when thorns ripped us to pieces.  Today’s journey was bearable, but it shows that all four seasons present their difficulties when hiking in the forest.

this was a pretty serious stream crossing on Pine Lick a couple of months ago.  Today, it wasn't a problem.

This was a pretty serious stream crossing on Pine Lick a couple of months ago. Today, it wasn’t a problem.

As stated, between Twin Oaks and Pine Lick, there were several stream crossings.  We did plenty of wading in Fifteen Mile Creek not so long ago, but the water existed only in random pools on this hike.  Small fish were abundant in these little holes along the Pine Lick Trail, and I’m sure they weren’t enjoying the recent drought and hot weather.  In fact, they appeared to be an easy target for all interested predators.

A purple blaze along the Twin Oaks Trail.  This one stands out pretty well because of the white background, but we did have some problems finding our way...

A purple blaze along the Twin Oaks Trail. This one stands out pretty well because of the white background, but we did have some problems finding our way…

True, the so-called stream crossings and overgrowth weren’t major concerns, but we did have some difficulties following the purple blazes on the Twin Oaks portion of the loop.  As the evening shadows started to fall, many of these splotches blended in with the tree bark a little too well (at least the ones that didn’t have a white border), and we did have to backtrack once or twice.  One trick that I learned from reading an Appalachian Trail book is to turn around and look for blazes in the opposite direction when unsure of your direction.  This has come in handy a few times, but today, not so much!

The blue blazes on the Pine Lick Trail were a little easier to spot.  the fact that we were back in familiar territory helped too.

The blue blazes on the Pine Lick Trail were a little easier to spot. The fact that we were back in familiar territory helped too.

Back at the forest’s headquarters off of I-68 at the MV Smith exit (64), they sell t-shirts with the slogan “It’s no walk in the park!”  I’m inclined to agree.  The trails in Green Ridge aren’t treacherous, but they are far from easy.  For anybody interested in taking a stroll through Green Ridge State Forest, I would recommend the Twin Oaks/Pine Lick Loop.  It has a little bit of everything that makes the longer hikes in the forest worthwhile.

The old Twin Oaks School, as seen from a point close to the trailhead on Double Pine Road

The old Twin Oaks School, as seen from a point close to the trailhead on Double Pine Road

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  1. […] boded well. The following day, it was sunnier and warmer, so we hiked the Twin Oaks Trail (the purple trail) and looped back around on the Pine Lick Trail (blue), four miles in all. We […]

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