Revised September 30, 2001
Deam Lake Trailhead to Bowery
Creek, doubled back, October 15, 1998
to Deam Lake trailhead are given in the official KT guide, but if you're
approaching from most directions, you'll find it easiest to take State
Route 60 east from Salem or west from exit 7 of Interstate 65. About
eight or ten miles after exiting I-65, or fifteen or twenty miles east
of Salem, turn right on the access road to Deam Lake State Recreation Area.
About a mile north, just before entering the Recreation Area, turn right
on Wilson Switch Road and proceed about a mile to the large wooden sign
on the left marking the mile zero trailhead parking area. (If this
is your first visit to the KT, drive into the park and pick up a KT map
at the office.)
During Mike's fall break of 1998, we made an overnight trip to Clarksville then drove to Deam Lake the next day to begin hiking the KT. We weren't quite sure what to expect, and were slightly unnerved when there were a few vehicles parked at the trailhead with hunters. In Pennsylvania, during hunting season, we'd made a point of always hiking on Sundays when hunting was prohibited. But it looked like they were getting ready to leave, so we hoped that no one was left in the woods and began our hike.
Although the trailhead is called Deam Lake, you never get a view of the lake from the main trail. There are two side trails indicated on the map which give access to the lake and recreation area, which we did not take. In fact, there's very little in the way of scenery or points of interest along the first two miles as the trail passes the lake without coming near it. There are some slight rises but nothing major, until the trail crosses gravel Reed Road just beyond mile 2. At that point, it parallels the road for a short distance then drops moderately, but only 50 to 100 feet, into Bowery Run. The stream bed is basically dry. We noticed that nearly every stream bed in the first 15 miles of the KT was basically dry -- or maybe it was due to the fact that the region was in a drought during the times we hiked all those segments.
Bowery Run is a good turnaround point, but not knowing better, we carried on out of the stream bottom, up a moderate incline, then stopped for lunch in about 1/4 mile. (When we hiked back to this point from Jackson Road the following year, we overshot our lunch stop and dropped all the way back into Bowery Run. There really are no landmarks of interest to look for!) After lunch, we turned around and hiked back to the car.
This first KT hike was relatively easy, and probably not indicative of the difficulty of most of the later segments.
MARIA'S HIKING ON HER OWN TWO FEET:
October 15: We have no record of Maria covering any ground on her own this time, but she did so on most of our remaining KT hikes. The KT was the first trail where Maria completed a substantial amount of mileage on her own two feet, over 18 miles or nearly 1/3 of the trail.
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