|JULY 6, 2008 There were no wildflowers, no views, and
no sunny lunch spots on this Mountaineers CHS hike to Lake Serene.
These woods felt dark and close after the open forests of the Teanaway,
and the fog was so thick it hid all views, including the massive cliffs
of Mount Index. What this hike had, however, was good company, lively
conversation, and stunning waterfalls.
The trail is a knee-grinding, rocky, steep climb up slopes and stairs to a serene lake--hence the name--that was still partially frozen and surrounded by snow. Despite the gloomy weather, crowds of people were hiking up to the lake as we were hiking down. I had hiked this trail last fall right after the first dusting of snow at the lake, and I remember being duly impressed by the sheer power of Bridal Veil Falls on that trip. Although I wore a knee brace for this hike, by the time we trouped down the mountain to the side trail to the falls on this hike, I was limping and opted out of hiking that last 1/2 mile and 200' of elevation gain to the falls.
Despite the gloom and knee pain, it was a great hike with people I enjoy spending time with.
8 miles roundtrip
2000' elevation gain