The Green Cove Trail

 

This hike literally kicked my ass in more ways than one, but it was so entirely worth it. I started off the trail at Pulliam Creek Trail, which takes you to the Green River Narrows. For any of you out there who are into kayaking, this is the place to go. If you’re going here for the first time, I would suggest going with someone who knows how to get there. The trail head is basically nonexistent and next to impossible to see from the road. I was with someone who had been on this trail several times and we still zoomed past it, it wasn’t until several miles down the road that we realized that we’d missed it.

Pulliam Creek Trail is absolutely gorgeous, but it’s also part of the Green River Game Lands, so keep that in mind when you set out on this hike, it’s not unusual to hear gunshots. The first part of the hike is pretty easy, there are some steeper parts, but for the most part it’s very level. The scenery is lush and green and the rush of the river in the distance makes this a beautifully peaceful hike. At some point down the trail it splits, you have the option to continue on straight or go right. Going right leads you to the Green River Narrows. I went right, which takes you down a very steep descent, steep enough that there’s a rope to help you down. This part is difficult in places, and it’s easy to lose your footing, so use that rope!! It’s especially difficult if you have a dog, which i did. At the bottom of the descent there are some slippery rocks to cross. Be careful here!! It is very easy to bust it here (trust me, I know from experience… I totally busted my ass here. Like, twisted ankle, battered shins, and a very wet butt, kind of busting it.) Once you get past these rocks it is smooth sailing! There’s plenty to explore up the river, and plenty of places to sit and soak up the sun while you enjoy your lunch and watching kayakers go through the narrows (which is awesome by the way!)

There are snakes here! They love sunbathing on these warm rocks, so be wary. It’s their natural habitat, so if you hate snakes, stay away from the rocks. So far I’ve only seen garter snakes, but I imagine that once the weather warms up there will be Copperheads and maybe even rattle snakes. I’m not trying to scare any of you off, I just want everyone to be aware and ready. The first snake I saw took me completely by surprise. I was climbing over rocks and about to put my hand down when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye, so naturally I jumped, and there it was, a baby garter snake poised and angry. At this point I was exhausted, starving, alone, and a little bit lost. Being surprised was the tip of the iceberg for me, so I had to take a moment to shake it off, let out a few choice words, and eat before I continued. Needless to say, I was much more aware of where I was stepping from that point on.

Once I was all rested I made the steep trek up to where the trail split. Here you have the option to go left and go back to the car or go right and which will take you to Green Cove Trail. My friends were heading back to the car so they could kayak a section of the river and I was going right and was going to meet them at Fish Top Access, which is the take out for the Narrows. It was their understanding that the trail would lead to the parking lot without any trouble,  “Just keep right,” they said, “follow the river and you’ll get to the parking lot.” Well, they were entirely wrong, but I’ll get to that….

The trail comes to a fork when it reaches the Green Cove Trail, I went right based on my friend’s advice, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that I wasn’t going upstream sooooo I turned around and kept going, opting for other route at the fork this time. This part of the hike was beautiful. It was much less traveled, sunny with a slight breeze, and full of freshly blooming plant life. I didn’t meet a single person on this leg of the hike, and that was fine by me. Several parts of the trail did have tire marks, I imagine it’s a great section for mountain biking, so keep that in mind while you’re out there! Once the trail started to get really close to the river I decided to pull out my phone and use Google Maps to find out where the Fish Top Access parking lot was. That’s when I realized I was going to have to cross the river. I wandered off of the trail at this point and started walking closer to the river so I could scout out a place that was shallow enough, not too rocky, and not too wide. Lucky for me, I had spare clothes, chacos, and it was a warm day. So I found a large, strong stick, hoisted up my backpack as high it would go, and picked up my water-hating dog and treaded carefully across the river. It was about waist deep, so I was careful to really shove my feet into cracks between rocks to make sure I had firm footing. I did not want to fall in this cold river. Once I reached the bank, I quickly stripped and changes from capris to shorts and dried off, the river was really cold and my legs were a little bit numb. It became very clear that I hadn’t paid enough attention to my GPS though…. I had crossed the river to an island and had another section of the river to cross.

At this point I decided to relax and soak up the sun for a bit, my water hating dog was not getting anywhere near that river any time soon. So I sat at the bank and people watched, that’s when I noticed a man who gave me the creepy crawlies. He was standing against a tree just staring at me, it was pretty unsettling. I got up and wandered around a bit, but when I came back he was still there, staring. So I made the decision to wait him out. I was totally unnerved by this creeper and it was clear he was not going to be crossing the river to get to me. I decided to wander around some more, explore the area, and get away from that creepy guy. I didn’t doubt that I was safe, the area was surrounded by fishers, kayakers, and families enjoying the weather, but I trust my gut and my instincts. When I got back to my spot, the guy was gone and I felt ready to cross the river. My dog was so not happy with me!! But I made it across in the same fashion, and luckily my shorts were dri-fit material, so they literally dried within minutes. However, after a while of sitting and relaxing, I realized that I was not in great shape. My feet were cut up from my treks across the river, my left was swollen and throbbing from my fall earlier, my knee was slightly swollen from a previous knee injury, and I was covered in bruises and scratches. I don’t know how I hadn’t felt any of this earlier, I guess when you keep moving your body doesn’t let you feel it. I have never been so happy to see my friends. It’s been a week and my foot is still a little tender, my knee is better thanks to a lot of heat pads and a good bit of arnica.

Despite mother nature completely kicking my ass on this hike, it was such an awesome day. I loved every minute of being out there and I’d do it again in a heart beat! It was so insanely peaceful. Just me, my dog, and nothing but the wind whispering sweet nothings in my ear, trees creaking as they tell me their story, and rushing force of the river in the distance, powerful and strong. I could lose myself in these woods.

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:)

🙂

These trees were scattered all over the trail, made a for a beautiful, colorful hike!

These trees were scattered all over the trail, made a for a beautiful, colorful hike!

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These Trilliums are beautiful when they flower

These Trilliums are beautiful when they flower

Coolest plant ever!

Coolest plant ever!

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The section of the river that I crossed!

The section of the river that I crossed!

A view of the Green River along the trail

A view of the Green River along the trail

Part of the Narrows!

Part of the Narrows!

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