This section is challenging with great rewards. It starts from the CR 58 Lindskog Road trailhead with a warning about erosion and you will continue at your own risk. This warning was also on the SHTA website. There is a LOT of up and down on this section. Your reward is beautiful views and a variety of trail types: Rocky, packed earth, steps, boardwalks, and bridges. You will also see more day hikers on this section than in other nearby sections. Usually I am one of them! I would not bring children or animals on this section if they have an impulsive nature. There are places where you need to use caution to get past the eroded areas and places where the trail is close to the edge of a long dropoff. With some common sense and a healthy respect of danger, you will be fine.
The spur trail to the Pincushion overlook is hard to follow at times and more than once I thought “Here it is, this is great!” but there was more. A short way into the spur trail you will come to a slanted wall of rock. It was a sunny dry day so I had no problem walking up it. I wonder what it would be like on a slippery rainy day. Enjoy that view and then continue to your left for more. Wander about up on that large flat mountaintop. There are so many places to sit and enjoy the views. While I was there, a young man was wandering close to the sloping edge and his dad spoke sharply to him to get away from it. The brother told his dad to relax. The dad was insistent and I was relieved. I realize that the from the dad’s view it probably looked worse than it was, but have a healthy respect for danger, people! Also, if you have never had children you do not understand the panic that father was feeling in that moment. Have respect for that also and just come away from the edge.
My favorite spot in this section is before Pincushion Mountain. It is under the Devil Track River bridge. On a hot day it is a relief to sit on cool rocks in the shade of the bridge next to fast flowing water. I drew a picture there, but it wasn’t a keeper. That’s ok. Just being there was enough.
Another hiker we met in a different section also loves this spot. “You’re going to Pincushion? Make sure to spend some time under the bridge at Devil Track. That’s my favorite.” I said “I KNOW!”
Right after Devil Track River be ready for steps. About 150 of them. Once that is done the rest is fairly level. The last couple miles before Pincushion Mountain Trailhead have boardwalks through a marshy area. So many boardwalks! It was beautiful and a relief to have a flat even walking surface after so much scrambling and slow careful foot placement. I kept thinking of how many hours of labor it must have taken to create the wooden walkways. This trail is maintained by volunteers. I am so grateful for them!