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The Backbone Trail,

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Southern Backpacking

Page 2
After going left, the trail will start to make some curves, first to the right, then back left, then right again. It is in this area you will begin to notice that there are large rocks, some actual boulders in the enbankment to the left. You will also realize that you have been gently going downhill since entering the trail. Soon you will take a more steeper downhill hike on a section of trail which seems to always have water seeping down it.
At the bottom of this section you will rise on the trail a short (few feet) distance and find yourself on a ridge. This ridge, that you hiked down to, is the orginal elevation of Louisiana. The state has dropped over the centuries and is still sinking today. You will begin to see small valleys fall
away from the ridge now, and they can be pretty with rock formations strewn about them. The terrain to the sides of you here are reminicent of Mississippi hill country.
The hiking here is pleasant with gentle ups and downs along the trail. The views will begin to get wide to each side, with a feel of looking from a mountain ridge out to other ridges in the distance. The smell of pine will be in the air in spring, as well as wild Azelea and Dogwood. Keep an eye out for the gifts of the many horses which use the trail. Some sections of this trail will be muddy in periods of rain and the tracks of many animals will appear. Deer and hog are prevalent, as well as coyote. If you are very lucky, you could come across a bear track. I have actually seen bears on the Caroline Dorman Trail, but it is rare to even see signs of bear in the area.
At about 1 3/4 miles along the way, the ridge widens out and you come to a beautiful area of mixed hardwood and pines with scenery of the valleys on either side. Here you will begin to see evidence of campsites on the right hand side. These spots are great to use when you get a late afternoon start or have small children with you. It is an easy and quick hike in, and the view you are afforded in the spot is very pleasant and open.
One consideration of making camp anywhere in Kisatchie is food
storage. So often one is told in the Deep South that bears are not
a worry, you dont need to be real particular with your food. Well,
bears are becoming more prevalent in the area. The smell of any
food will attract them. The more likely charater that will be after
your food in the Deep South is raccoons.Whether it is from a bear
or a raccoon or any other animal, it is no fun to wake up and
discover your breakfast and luch have been swiped, or you pack
chewed through to get at the food. Hang your food from a tree.
This can be a challenge in LA and MS as pines are the pre-
domant tree, and branches hard to locate. Take the time to do
so, it is worth it in the end.
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