Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Treadwell Ditch and Mount Bradley

About a 10-minute walk down 5th street in Douglas through a normal-looking neighbor provided a new hiking opportunity for us. You have to look between two houses for the trail head sign; there seems to be quite a bit public access across private land down here. I'm thinking its because we're surrounded by national forest land. In a matter of minutes you'll find yourself away from urban noises and surrounded by numerous shades of green. We decided to check out a portion of the Mt Bradley (map - click on Mt Bradley) trail and see where it connected to the Treadwell Ditch. The ditch used to bring water to the mine area from across Douglas Island. I think it goes for about 16 miles and most of it you can hike. We'll have to save that for a long summer day.

As with other trails, this was well maintained with a gravel pathway and some built in stairs. There was very little boardwalk which was fine with me since it had been rainy pretty heavy for the last couple days. Some of those boards get pretty slick.

I think this is Paris Creek and this creek didn't have a bridge across it but we found a narrow spot that wasn't too hard to get across. The upper creek was much bigger and was flowing pretty good with brownish-runoff water. This one did have a nice bridge that looked pretty new.

Most of the Treadwell Ditch is covered over with logs and moss but this portion was open. You do have to be careful where you are stepping as the logs that have been here for 100 years are rotting out some. We followed the ditch for quite a ways before turning around when we hit another creek that we couldn't easily ford. We also realized that the trail had really gotten narrow and wasn't heavily traveled and was probably a game trail.

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