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This trail will remain a work in progress – members of NNSC (and others) have been working on it for 4 or 5 years. But for the adventurous, it is passable for its entire length and it’s an interesting place to explore.
Forgive me, but I want everyone to be aware of what the trail is and IS NOT. Please read through the following carefully and think about what I am saying.
The Salamander Connector Trail, sometimes called an ‘Adventure Trail’ is designed to access some interesting country and to connect the upper trails (White Salmon) and lower trails (Razor Hone / Cougar Loop) of our Salmon Ridge SnoPark. But note: it is NOT a hardened, cleared, straightened, well-marked, established thoroughfare through the wilderness. The further you get from the ends of the trail, the rougher it gets. (Think about it – we had to hike in from either end, carrying tools, to work on it. The ends got the most work.)
My biggest fear: someone who has skied the Cougar Loop, has skied White Salmon, says ‘That was fun, I can do that. I see there is a trail that connects them, let’s go do it.’ Then they have a friend drop them off at White Salmon and leave with the car. They ski down White Salmon, find the start of the Connector trail, think it’s hard, but they can probably do it, they continue down the trail, get their feet wet in a creek crossing, get halfway through, miss the blue diamonds on a couple of trees, go ‘cross-country’ for a bit, trip over a log, and then realize their only plan is to ‘carry on to Razor Hone because that’s where our car is.’ And they have a miserable trip.
But having spun that horror story, I think it’s a neat trail! For people who can make decisions as needed, who have a back-up plan, who have spent some time in the woods, it’s a great place! And if you go out and back from one end or the other, just turn around wherever it seems appropriate and go back to your car and enjoy the day! Then with some planning, a through trip is great!
Look at this picture carefully – it is one of the toughest spots on the trail, and not surprisingly, it’s right at the midpoint.
You also might enjoy a trial run on the Huckleberry Trail. It’s of similar quality – if you think it was fun, then you should go out to ‘Big Tree Meetup!’
So now that you’ve read and understand the warnings and qualifications, click here for further information. It’s a great place!