Back at the beginning of
The primary reason for putting up new trail markers and names was the cost of search and rescue operations which arose following a couple of recent instances of ill-equipped, and I’m sorry to say, ill-informed, and inexperienced groups of people getting lost at Hercules Glades.
I have a strong suspicion — which may be wrong — that there was insufficient research into the trail’s original names behind this change. I’m not convinced that
I also suspect some errors may have been made. For example, it is quite easy to see how Pole Hollow could be misread as Pete Hollow if the name were taken from a well-used and semi-legible map. A check of the USGS map online shows Pole Hollow clearly marked. I’ve not (yet) found any reference to Pete Hollow. It would be interesting to find out what the source of the new name was.
It is also possible, and sad, that with the dropping of the original trail names, that the names of some of the local features like the Devil’s Den and Rock Spring might be lost over time.
I must (albeit reluctantly) agree that in places the new markers do make hiking easier. For instance, I love the marker on the western end of the Pees Hollow Trail, it’s a trail junction I’ve missed several times in the past. The new trail markers should also help to cut down on the number of trail meanderings that appear as people lose the original trail and make their own routes. Especially in the high traffic areas such as along Long Creek.
Finally, Hercules Glades is a wilderness, the trails are not supposed to be marked. Reading a map and finding one’s way is part of the challenge of hiking a wilderness.
Hercules Glades — Revised Trail Names
|Old Trail Name
|New Trail Name
|Devil’s Den East
|Long Creek – but it takes an extended route along what was Rock Spring Trail
In the end, whatever the reason for changing the trail names, we are now stuck with two sets of names for most of the trails at Hercules Glades.