Signs – Hitchcock Woods’ nearly 2,000 acres is riddled with trails and fields, some of them named, some of them not and the woods’ caretakers have put up a number of wooden signs in various places. A few even with helpful suggestions.
Corley Pass - Took a walk in the western section of the woods today and walked along this trail. (5/30/16) Randy's Route - Is it a route taken by Randy? A route created by Randy? Or the way to Randy? Ask him for me if you see him before I do OK? (01/02/16) Black Gum Pond - Could be named for the dark water or the surrounding trees. (07/09/11) Swampy Cut - This sign is probably the oldest of the four along a short stretch of trail. One, it looks it age-wise and two, the other three say Swampy Cut Line... (11/08/09) Yucca Valley - Just like in the magnolia-less Valley of the Magnolias, there were zero yucca plants along this trail. (09/06/09) Tim's Crossing - Donna is on a mission and it seems like she doesn't want to wait for me to take a picture. (07/05/09) No Motor Vehicles Allowed - This one is pretty self explanatory. (07/24/09) Jump At Your Own Risk II - Posted at the other entrance to Crawford Fences where the kindly caretakers have placed stacks of large logs at intervals in a clearing for the horse riders to jump over. (06/27/09) Mr Fletcher's Ride - A very new sign, so new that the echos of the hammering could still be faintly heard. It was a gray day in the woods, so I amped up the look using a radiance filter and dialing up the saturation. (12/28/08) Lover's Lane - No explanation needed for this trail. (09/30/07) Harry's Hill - That's the trouble with Harry, he's always up hill. (11/23/08) Gail's Crossing - This is a new sign and as far as I can tell a new name because I don't remember ever seeing an old sign and it isn't listed on the map. (12/20/08) Foxes' Den - In all the time we spend walking in the woods we have never seen a fox. But that doesn't mean there aren't a ton of them in this very field. (11/23/08) Valley of the Magnolias - We followed this trail that we had never been on before today that runs from Doll Lane, across Crazy Creek, and up to 1977 Burn. The sign for Valley of the Magnolias trail is tacked to a big old pine tree and that is all we saw along the trail, pine trees, no magnolias at all. (09/17/06) Trail Closed To Horses - We just love the couple of trails in the woods so designated becaue it means that we don't have to dodge horse poop. (03/12/06) To South Boundary Avenue - Another "To" sign, this time to the road we used to get to the entrance today. (01/09/09) To Fox Field - The first picture I took of the day and as it turned out I started a mini theme. (01/03/09) To Dove Field - This is the last picture I took today as it was time to put the camera away, it had started to rain. (01/03/09) To Cuthbert Ridge Line - All three pictures I took were of signs that said "To" something. (01/03/09) Ridge Track - Ridge Track this way. --> (01/09/09) No Horses In Ring - This is a picture of a sign that says "No Horses In Ring" that is tacked onto a tree just outside the Horse Show Ring. So if you can't have horses in there, just how do you have a show? (01/09/09) Nimrod Lane - Named for the great Civil War General Beauregard Nimrod who died in 1864 while either defending Aiken from the vile northern aggressors or from friendly fire after berating the beloved company mess sergeant because he felt his grits were undercooked. (03/24/07) Low Country Ride - This trail got its name, I'm sure, from the prevalence of Spanish Moss along it. (12/20/08) Jump At Your Own Risk - Posted at the entrance to Crawford Fences where the kindly caretakers have placed stacks of large logs at intervals in a clearing for the horse riders to jump over. (03/09/08) Flicker Field - Named for the Colaptes campestris campestroides perhaps? (11/24/08) Clark Road Entrance - They recently added this gate and widened a previous narrow trail into something you can literally drive a truck through at our normal entrance. (12/28/08) Cavalry Charge - A short and very steep drop of a trail that leads to Crazy Creek. (12/20/08) Bebbington Springs - A new sign. We just crossed Crazy Creek, but I don't see and spring. (10/19/08) 1977 Burn - One of Donna and my favorite paths from our normal entrance point to deep into the woods. So named, I'm guessing, because it was the boundary of a much larger than usual underbrush burning in the year 1977. (01/07/06) Monthly Photo 2006 – Because I never did find another spot (really didn’t look to hard) to do a year long series of shots of like I did for Mr. Fletcher’s Ride, I have decided for 2006 just to take my camera every time we hike and once a month post the one I find most interesting of the bunch.
Taking A Break - In the woods there isn't always a nice clean restroom at every off-ramp and you have to make do with what you can. My wife took this picture and is quite possibly horrified that I have posted it on the internet. (12/30/06) Morgan Cut 2 - November - After three weeks Morgan Cut looks about the same, still plenty of colorful leaves on the trees, but there are a lot more dead ones blanketing the path. (11/18/06) Morgan Cut - October - The leaves are just begining to change on the trees here along Morgan Cut. This wide trail is named Morgan Cut after baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan who is an avid horseman and has a home here in Aiken. OK, I just made that up, it is probably named for Thomas Hitchcock's mistress or stable lad or forrester. (10/29/06) Algae Pond - September - We can catch glimpses of this pond from both the Low Country Ride and Palmetto Ride trails, but we never get real close. Today we found a narrow, hidden, un-mapped trail down to it and were surprised to find a dam and that the pond is covered in algae. (09/17/06) Valley of the Magnolias - August - We followed this trail that we had never been on before today that runs from Doll Lane, across Crazy Creek, and up to 1977 Burn. The sign for Valley of the Magnolias trail is tacked to a big old pine tree and that is all we saw along the trail, pine trees, no magnolias at all. (08/27/06) Memorial Gate - July - Instead of entering the woods at our usual place, we went in at the end of South Boundary today. There were four other cars already in the parking area and we kidded each other about how crowded the 2200 acre woods would be with *all* those people in them. A short way in along this entry path is Memorial Gate, a brick gateway dedicated in Francis R. Hitchcock?s memory by his friends in 1929. (07/30/06) Palmetto Ride - June - We took advantage of the unseasonably cool summer morning to get out and take a walk today. Here is the entrance to a trail called Palmetto Ride which is quite a big loop that goes over by the Palmetto Golf Course. We didn't didn't take it because the coolness was not going to last, but we did manage a nice little walk anyway. (06/18/06) Kalmias - May - There is a subdivision in town called Kalmia Hills and I have always wondered where that name came from. Well as it turns out, the Kalmia is a flowering bush that is native to this area. I found this out when a co-worker asked me if we had noticed that the kalmia was blooming in Hitchcock Woods. After I said no, I asked where. Donna and I made a point of heading to that trail the following weekend. Yikes. There is one section that is blanketed by the bush with dense white flowers. (05/14/06) Wild Azaleas - April - The first full week in April means the Masters Golf Tournament and Augusta National is known for its beauty. A big part of that look is the abundance of azaleas around the course. Azaleas are also very prominent in the yards around Aiken and Augusta. Those are all domesticated azaleas, bred to really bloom and look good in suburban yards, but are nice to stumble on their more humble cousin, the wild azalea, while walking in the woods. (04/14/06) 2006 Burn - March - Here at the corner of Fox Field Loop and, ironically, 1977 Burn, is where they did a little controlled burning this winter. I may remember to take another picture here later in the summer so we can see the results. (03/12/06) Chalk Cliffs - February - We have walked along the tops of the Chalk Cliffs a dozen or so times while traversing through the woods, today was the first time I found my way down to the base of the 25' cliffs. (02/26/06) 1977 Burn - January - One of Donna and my favorite paths from our normal entrance point to deep into the woods. So named, I'm guessing, because it was the boundary of a much larger than usual underbrush burning in the year 1977. (01/07/06) Mr Fletcher’s Ride – I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for some time, find a spot in the woods and take a picture there every month around the same time. This will allow watching the seasons change here. Of course, snow is so rare in these parts, I reserve the right to ignore the once a month rule to capture it if it happens. Looking southwest at the corner of Mr. Fletcher’s Ride and an unnamed path about 1/2 miles in from our usual entry point into Hitchcock Woods.
October 2005 - Not much different from a month ago and this is the final photo from this series. I think I try one more in 2006 from a different spot. We have from now until January to pick just the right spot. (10/29/2005) September 2005 - From yesterday morning's hike. The leaves are falling in my front yard, but here in the woods it doesn't seem to be happening yet. (09/24/2005) July/August 2005 - Although we have quite a bit of warm weather left to come our way, it has finally cooled enough so that mornings will let us go for a hike in the woods again, so for the first time in a couple months we did. This picture is very similar to June's shot except for the angle of the sun, so we are going to call this July and August's photo and will try and get back for a September one later this month. (09/04/2005) June 2005 - The last couple of months this image has been pretty static and I'm sure it will be that way for the next couple of months too. (06/25/2005) May 2005 - We went walking a little later in the day today, around 9:30 - 10 AM, because we have had an unseasonably cool weekend and sleeping in late on a Sunday is a good thing. That accounts for the different lighting making the trees appear much greener than April's picture. (05/22/2005) April 2005 - Three weeks since our last visit and spring has sprung inside the woods. We stumbled on a couple of clusters of wild azaleas that were blooming while we walked. The dogwoods were still mostly in bloom and if you look down the trail to the right you can see one. (04/17/2005) March 2005 - Outside the woods, spring is in its early stages, but inside it is just starting. The dogwood outside my window at home is in full bloom, while the one that the passed on this morning's walk was just starting to flower. I picked this corner in the fall when it was colorful, but there isn't any thing that will flower heralding spring, so I need to find a different spot that will be more colorful at this time of year for my next yearlong photo essay. (03/26/2005) February 2005 - This picture looks pretty much like the last two months photos. I bet next month's will show some change, because spring will be cranking up by then. (02/19/2005) January 2005 - I took the picture turned a little further to the right than the previous two. I've got to remember to glance at the pics I've already posted so I can get lined up right. (01/16/2005) December 2004 - A lot less leaves on the trees than just a month ago. It was also a cloudy day compared to last month's sunny one, so the leaves on the ground look a different color than in November's shot. (12/20/2004) November 2004 - Autumn has reached Aiken. I would say our leaves are just past their peak, they are certainly falling off the oaks and hickories in my front yard. (11/20/2004)