Dinsmore is lovely but…some parts of the trail are overgrown with stinging nettles (although the plants are still young and not very stingy) and we had to do two separate work arounds to get around fallen trees. Every time we have visited this location, we’ve had to do some work around or another.
I refuse the pass under trees that have “mostly” fallen because I don’t want to have the tree complete it’s decent on me or my daughters.
Work-arounds simply means working your way around what is blocking the path. While I don’t advocate going off trail sometimes it is necessary and safer than passing under a mostly fallen tree. First, don’t try to go around the top to the tree. This will take you longer and become infinitely frustrating and typically when trees fall–they fall downhill. Which means if you are walking around the canopy, you are still in danger of the tree shifting thanks to gravity. Plus, getting jabbed and poked by the branches isn’t a lot of fun.
I always head uphill towards where the root of the tree is usually sticking out the ground. You just have to be careful when going around this gaping hole so you don’t fall in. Then work your way back down the hillside.
To get back down a steep hillside you can stair-step sideways down the hill, go toes first method/skate, or turn around and sort-of reverse climb down the hill. The reverse climb is handy when the hill is really steep because you lower your center of gravity and have four touch points. What you choose depends on what you feel comfortable with but the most important thing is to give yourself distance between you and whoever you are hiking with because if you slip, you don’t want to wipe them out as well.
Make sure you return to the trail as soon as you safely can because you don’t want to get off trail and get yourself lost. While that might not be a big problem in several of the smaller forests around this area, it could be if you were hiking in a more remote area. I’ll talk about compasses in my next post….