Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Friday - September 9, 2011

RV-Dreams - Carolina Clan,    Day 2 - Part 2

Click any photo to enlarge

Back at our campsite, we ate some breakfast and gathered our hiking gear.  At 9am we had a group ready, willing and I think able to hike the 4.5 mile Turkey Oak Trail ;o))   02a - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Sign

We decided to drive to the trailhead.  Hiking to the trailhead would have turned the 4.5 mile hike into a 10 mile hike ;o((02a1 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Start of Trail MapWalking distance from the red dots (campground) to the blue dots (trailhead) is 5.5 miles round trip.

Below is the Turkey Oak Trail map.02b2 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Trail explainedWe were hiking the long loop (white) which started at the blue dots on the map and went as far as the tail of Lake Juniper before heading back to the start.

If you enlarge the picture below, you can read a great explanation of the hike and the environment. 02b - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Trail explainedBasically, Cheraw State Park has a mission to try and restore the longleaf pine ecosystem and encourage the recovery of species dependent on that environment. The anchor species for Cheraw State Park is the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. 

Before we headed down the trail, Steve asked the group to gather for a picture.  Steve told us to get close together and smile…
02d3 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Smiling Hikers Oh... this is going to be a FUN hike :o))

Now that we got that out of our system, we managed to behave for the flip-side of that photo.02d2 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - HikersThanks Steve for sending us those 2 photos!!

02d - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - HikersJust one more so you know Steve was there;o))

Off we went with Steve and his three trusted dogs leading the way….02e - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Off we go

As you can imagine with this many people and three dogs, we probably were not going to see any wildlife.  But, nobody cared…  We were in a beautiful environment and just enjoyed walking and talking.

We saw some unusual mushrooms along the trail. Don’t know the names of any of these but thought they looked cool!!
02g - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Fried Egg MushroomHow about a fried egg mushroom?!?!

02g2 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - mushroom02g3 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - mushroom02g4 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - mushroomThis one looks like Saturn with its rings?!?!

02h - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Wood FlowerDoesn’t this look like a “wood” flower? 
It was left on the branch when the longleaf pine cone fell to the ground.

About two miles or so into the hike, Bruce and Dan mentioned that they hadn’t seen any white trail markers for some time... Uh Oh ;o(( 02j - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - off the trailThe trail was getting more difficult to walk and it appeared that no one had been through here in while.02k - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - off the trail

The decision was made to backtrack until we found a marker.  Sure enough, we made a bad right turn earlier.  That’s what happens when you are walking and talking and enjoying each others company ;o)) Good thing we drove to the trail head as our 4.5 mile hike had just been extended to about 6 miles!!
02l - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - back on the trail

We got back on the trail and finally reached the Lake Juniper Scenic Outlook. 02m - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Scenic Outlook Hmmm… I always called them Lookouts?!?! 

02n - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Scenic OutlookIt was a beautiful spot deep in the Cypress Trees.
The temperature was rising and the dogs found a great way to cool off.02o - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Scenic Outlook puppies
Refreshed and ready to go!!02p - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Scenic Outlook puppies

After a short rest at the scenic outlook…we started back toward the trailhead.  We came across this tree with a split trunk and thought if someone would get inside it would make a great photo.  Dan gave it a shot, but did not fit ;o((  So we got Tricia looking through the split trunk ;o))
02q - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Dan in Tree 02q2 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - Peekaboo Tree

This hike really is about the longleaf pines.   02s - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - All who wonder

How about these two pines…
02q3 - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - hugging Trees
It looks like they are hugging.
Perhaps that’s their baby longleaf in the foreground ;o))

Time for a little break!!
02t - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - need a rest Even the puppies were glad to rest. 

Moving on down the trail, we came upon this sign…02u - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - home sign

Boy did the pace pick up ;o))02v - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - we made it02w - Turkey Oak Trail Hike - doodle found himDoodlebug was hurrying Steve to the finish!!


  1. Sounds like this was a 10 mile hike/walk day for at least 2 of the folks who went. 5 miles, breakfast and ready to go at NINE AM. You two are something!!!

    Great pictures Nancy!
    Really fine mushrooms.
    Sure did look like a Fried egg - Nice commentary Bill!

    I'm ready for Day 2 Part 3!!

  2. Too much fun. Love the 'smiling' picture :)

  3. Looks like a great hike and it looks like you guys had a blast.

  4. I'm with Sherry :)

    Your pictures and narrative make it look like you had a great time. I'm sorry I missed that hike!

  5. Great view of ya'll, from both sides. With all the fun and laughter you had on that hike, it's amazing that you found your way home.

    Hoping to be able to join in on this fun soon, dropped the house price-again.

    Great picture of the egg mushroom. Never saw anything quite like that before. Ain't nature grand? :c)