Tuesday, April 8, 2014
HIke 2013.023 -- Miller Canyon Trail, Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area
The California State Parks website's Trail description is here.
When I was younger, my family used to go fishing quite often, and Lake Silverwood was a pretty good trout fishery at the time. Then the striped bass made it into the lake, and the DFG trout plants just became a really expensive way of feeding the striped bass. Also, I eventually figured out that I enjoyed being outdoors more than the actual fishing part. So it's been years since my last trip to Lake Silverwood. It was a familiar place, but one not recently visited.
To reach Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area, take I-15 (probably north, unless you're already on the other side of the Cajon Pass), and exit at CA-138. Head east from there. The first four miles of CA-138 are surprisingly winding for a state highway, so take your time. After ten miles, you'll pass the "main" entrance for Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area.
After about 1/2 mile, I came across what looked like a wooden trestle bridge. On closer inspection, it was a wooden walkway. After I crossed under the bridge, I saw a use path heading up on the left, so I went up to the structure. One way led to a wooden decking, built atop a large rocky outcropping, and sitting maybe 60 feet above the water.
Once back on the trail, I saw that about 20 yards past where I had headed up was an actual constructed trail that headed up on my trail's right. That one would have led me to the paved road, and to the entry to the bridge with the "Danger" sign.
There were several very pretty views of the creek in this segment.
After heading to the right, the lake is soon visible through the trees. I could see several people fishing along the shore. Not sure whether they came from where I came from or from the other side, or arrived by boat.
The trail made another rise, going from near lake level on up about 20 or 30 feet. Looking down towards the lake, I saw several bush poppy. That was one of the more common flowers I saw on my drive towards the lake, as well.
Several waterfowl at the lake swam away from the shore once they saw me walking above them.
There were picnic benches here, and an unlocked restroom. It's also got a dock, so I assume it's intended that boats on the lake may choose to dock here to eat lunch and/or relieve themselves without needing to head all the way back to the marina, on the other side of the lake.
After about 1/4 mile, the trail divided, with the clearer route heading down towards the waterline. A less distinct route climbed a bit and continued to the west.
However, with the campground closed, this adds another 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile roundtrip. And, continuing past Serrano Beach probably added 1/2 mile to 3/4 of a mile.
Despite my many fishing trips here as a teenager and before, I'm pretty sure I never hiked this path before. Given how much I've hiked the past four years, I'm always a little pleased when I manage to hike some completely new ground.