The Harris Center has an artist carving creatures along the trails. Tyson read an article about it. Checking out ephemeral carvings that will decay in a few years seemed like a good reason to revisit Skatutakee Mountain and Thumb Mountain. The Harris Center map shows a trail, Cadot trail, that isn’t in open street maps. So of course we had to start there to map it. Starting at Cadot trail had several advantages. For one, we wouldn’t be competing for parking space at the main trailhead. For another, it would put the sculptures at a mid point along our hike, and thus keep Isaac’s attention for longer.
The Cadot Trail starts on an old farm road. The USGS topo maps first show the road in 1936, and then in 1950 change it to a path. It was a surprisingly well built road for such a short tenure. Water drainage was kept to one side or the other with culverts constructed of flat stones when it needed to pass under. Most of the way the road is bordered by rock walls and old trees. Then it just ends in the middle of what may have been a field, and the Cadot trail swings right up the hill.
After climbing over Skatutakee Mountain, we found three sculptures at the far end of the Harriskat Trail. From there, we hiked up to Jack’s Pond for lunch. We finished our loop via Thumb Mountain. The Harris Center maintains a view at both peaks. The trail blazing had issues in a few places. The footbed had obviously seen more traffic than it used to — freshly crushed raindeer moss, and braided sections. The worst of the braided sections had multiple paths blazed. Quite confusing.
The sculptures were a good idea and kept the hike interesting. We need to find something similar for our next hike.