Section 4: Suggested Routes for Hiking Merit Badge
The following are suggestions for 10- and 20-mile (16- and 32-kilometer) routes that may be suitable for the Hiking Merit Badge. A great opportunity for the longer hikes might be on Sundays; hike into Yawgoog instead of driving in!
Some extra precautions are recommended. Given the lengths of the hikes, care should be taken to bring lunch and extra water; extra changes of dry socks are recommended. Given the distances from camp, a cellular telephone may be useful in case of emergency. For 20-mile hikes, which may require 10 hours or more, please pay special attention to available daylight. Sunset occurs around 7:00 pm or later when daylight saving time begins through early September. Bring flashlights, just in case.
The Grand Tour of Yawgoog
Total distance: approximately 10.2 miles (16.4 kilometers)
Total hiking time: approximately 4 to 6 hours
This hike occurs entirely within Yawgoog property, giving explorers the opportunity to see most of Yawgoog's points of interest in one trip. As an added benefit, most of the requirements of the Hiker of the Yawgoog Trails Award will be met at the same time. A brief walk-through is discussed here; readers are encouraged to use the full descriptions of the main Yawgoog trails for more detail. Hikers should have a copy of this page and the Reservation map (see below) for reference during the hike.
Starting at the T. Dawson Brown Gateway, follow the Orange Trail all the way back to the gate. This first section takes in most of Yawgoog's main facilities and program centers.
Proceed to Sharpe Lodge, Camp Three Point's dining hall, and follow the Red Trail past the Yawgoog Pond dam, Giant's Chairs and Snapper Rock. It is recommended to take in the view of Wincheck Pond at the campsite near Eagle's Roost. From Eagle's Roost, proceed through the Fractures and the Keyhole to Rustlers' Hideout. Continue through Cedar Swamp then on to High Rock and the Richmond Boulder Field. Follow the trail from the Southwest Marker to the Sawdust Pile on the Green Trail.
From the Sawdust Pile, turn right (east) to follow the Wo-Jack Trail and visit Symbol Rock on the Symbol Rock Trail. Returning to the Wo-Jack Trail, continue eastward, passing the Wilcox Trail and arriving at Fort Hilton on the Yellow Trail.
Follow the Lumber Road to Cooning Orchard and take the Aline Buxton Trail, visiting Ghost Pond, Altar Rock and Devil's Slide along the way. At the other end of the Aline Buxton Trail, turn right (southwest) on the main Yellow Trail and return to Cooning Orchard. Continue on the main Yellow Trail, descending to Blueberry Swamp. Veer right to visit the Davis Campsite, the site of Slade's Bridge and the view from the tip of Armstrong Point. After returning to the main trail, proceed around the pond to Hemlock Ledge, then to the Deer Cove Campsite for yet another great view. Continue on the Yellow Trail to Pioneer Caves and North Brook, ending at Camp Yawgoog Road. Turn left (west) on the road and head for the Blue Trail.
Follow the Blue Trail along the state border and turn right (east) at the fork of blue and yellow trails. Arriving at Dinosaur Rock, turn right (east) and follow the Blue Trail until it meets the White Trail near Sherwood Forest.
Take the White Trail to the point where the paths split to circle Hidden Lake; bear left (east) and descend to the boardwalk. After taking in the view at the peninsula at Hidden Lake, continue to the lake's dam. Follow the main trail to Camp Yawgoog Road at the old mill site. Proceed on the white side path that parallels Pickerel Cove to see the vista of the coves at its end. Return to the main White Trail and continue to Smuggler's Cliffs and Lean-To Cave. Cross Anthony Road, pass by the Campcraft Center and stop at Rathom Lodge, Camp Medicine Bow's dining hall.
The final leg of this hike completes the White Trail by going to Metcalf Lodge, the dining hall for Camp Sandy Beach, and walking on the road north through Sherwood Forest and finally stopping at the juncture of the White and Blue Trails.
Congratulations! You have finished the Orange, Red, Blue and White Trails, as well as covering much of the Yellow and Green Trails. To complete the Hiker of the Yawgoog Trails Award, a moderate (1.5 miles / 2.4 kilometers) "completion" hike can be done on another day to cover the rest of the Yellow and Green Trails. From Sharpe Lodge, follow the main Yellow Trail to Cooning Orchard and then the side trail to Fort Hilton. Take the green Wilcox Trail right (northwest) to Twelve Man Shelter. Turn left (southwest) on the main Green Trail to the Sawdust Pile. Retrace your steps to return the juncture with the Wilcox Trail. Leaving the Wilcox Trail behind, follow the main Green Trail until it meets the Yellow Trail near Hemlock Ledge. Now that you have finished the Hiker of the Yawgoog Trails Award, proceed back to camp on the Yellow Trail in either direction.