|Elevation Gain||588 feet|
|My Time||2 hr 11 min|
Finally an easy one! Lair O’ the Bear is located on Bear Creak just past Idledale on 74. In my opinion this is a place that everyone should check out and it is accessible by all skill levels. It is also a nice place to find out if hiking is for you. There is a fairly large parking lot but it fills up quick and many people end up parking on the street above the park. Fishers, runners, bikers, and even strollers are a plenty in this park.
You will have a couple of options when you get to the park. The most popular trail is the Bear Creek Trail that runs east to Little Mountain Park and West to Corwina Park. Bear Creek Trail also continues on a more difficult path on the west side. I wouldn’t recommend trying that portion with out being adequately prepared. The Bruin Buff Trail does have about a 600 foot total incline if you are looking for a small test. On Bruin you are walking on a mostly hard packed dirt path through some thick woods. You begin by walking past a bit of field as you cross over the creek. I was lucky this morning and saw these deer getting ready for some breakfast.
Bruin will then have you head off to the west and start ascending a small hill. You will do about a third of the 600 feet of elevation here and then be led back into the woods. I guess the deer weren’t done with me yet because we ran into each other on the path. This ended up being about a 5 minute standoff while we just stared at each other before they jumped off the trail and went after some tasty grass.
After the wooded path you will complete the rest of your elevation on the Bruin path. You will then descend a bit and then have to climb back up a small hill but not worse than the last one. At this point you will come to the only rocky section of the park. The rocks you have to walk over are low and rather easy but could be slippery if wet. After a little longer walk you can either continue east on Bruin back towards Bear Creek trail or west on Castor Cutoff which takes you through the field that I saw the deer that also has some wild flowers and back to where you started.
The best part of the area is that you spend most of your time walking next to the Bear Creek. I took the long route of circling Bruin Bluff then walking east to the Little Park Trailhead before backtracking and taking the path back to the west. Here are a couple of pictures from the Creek itself.
The Bear Creek trail is as close to a paved path as I have seen in awhile. It is hard packed dirt and very easy to navigate. On the west trail there is a very small shallow stream that you will need cross over. The trail is very popular and has a lot of people on it. I would highly suggest when you see signs for “creek side” loops or trails to take them as they take you right next to the creek. I can say that it is very peaceful to walk next to the creek for a few miles. There are some small waterfalls and areas that you can step off the trail to get closer to the water.
Overall this path is kinda the best of both worlds. It gives you a nice creek to walk next to, a bit of a hill if you feel like testing yourself, the terrain is easily manageable, and all skill levels should be able to enjoy it. There are even some great wildflowers on the trail as well. Really gives you everything you might want without having to work too hard.
I think this would be a great spot for anyone just wanting to try hiking to see if they liked it and a good place to test your skill levels. Here are some stats from today’s hike before more pictures. Plenty of flowers and some more of the deer in the gallery. There are also more video’s that I didn’t use in the zen section.
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. It also got me back on trail today when I got lost. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 6 miles and had a total elevation gain of over 588 feet. I was also moving for a total of 2 hours and 11 minutes.
There really wasn’t much effort and is much more of a nature walk than a strenuous hike. If you decide to take the Bruin Bluff trail you will have a bit of an incline to deal with but that is the most difficult part. Here are my stats from my Fitbit from today’s hike.
The path around Bear Creek in the Lair O’ the Bear Park is hard packed dirt in a majority of the places you can go. There are a couple of rocky area’s if you decide to go on the Bruin Bluff trail. It is a very crowded park and you will have to keep watch out for runners, bikers, strollers and many dogs.
There is a relatively large parking area that fills up quickly and people do end up parking on the street. The park is located on route 74 just west of Idledale. There are pit toilets available at the trail head.
If you have a suggestion for a hike that you would like me to try, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on the below social media platforms. I have also added this hike to the interactive map of all the hikes and food stops that you can find here.
Here are the rest of the photos from today’s hike.