A Walk With Treebeard – Hiking Redlands, Colorado
Have you ever had that feeling where you wished you could be whisked away and transported into your favorite movie or TV show? Where you could fight pirates alongside Captain Jack Sparrow, travel through space with Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, or get your acceptance letter from Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Well, this weekend I felt like I stepped into the world of Hobbits, Shires, and Tree Folk.
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In Redlands, Colorado behind the Renaissance subdivision just off of South Camp Road, hikers will find themselves in the midst of tree people as they hike this off beaten path. This trail isn’t an official hike but has become a favorite of locals over time due to the works of art someone has created in the wilderness.
Great Hike With Friends
My friend Hannah and I decided to challenge ourselves to try to find three tree people. We had heard there are 16 faces carved into (or hanging on) the trees. However, we didn’t exactly know where we were going but deciding to trek out anyways. Once we hit South Camp Road we took a left at Renaissance Drive. We followed the road until we came to a dead end where we parked. Up ahead there were steps leading up toward the canal so we figured this was our starting point. One we hit the canal we had the choice to turn left or right. I said we should go right. We should have gone left.
The Wrong Direction
Hannah and I followed the canal a way and then the road we were on took us to another subdivision. We followed the subdivision around to the left and kept working our way toward the hill we assumed was the hill we were supposed to be on. After climbing a little ways we finally found a foot path that lead us up the hill.
As we kept climbing up we realized that there weren’t very many trees around. However, we were quite determined so we kept carrying on. Finally we reached the top and saw a man and his dog coming toward us. As they approached I asked the man if this was the hike that had the tree people. He kind of laughed and said that they were up ahead in the tree line that we could see a little ways in the distance. Hannah and I kept going and once we hit that tree line we kept our eyes peeled.
At Last They Do Exist
Finally after analyzing just about every tree we came to, Hannah called out saying she had found one! And sure enough he was staring back at us. He had been carved perfectly so it looked as if he was pointing out more faces down the path. We found a total of 5 faces on this trip. Where the other 11 are we weren’t sure. We think they were further up a path that turned off from the main one but decided not to follow it the entire way. Our goal is to eventually find them all but we were happy finding the ones we did!
We kept on the main path and realized we were coming back around on the other side of where we parked. We added two extra miles when we took that first right turn. Hence why I said we should have gone left. However, we got good exercise!
This was quite a fun hike and we really enjoyed seeing this artwork. The great thing about it is that people are respecting the art and not putting graffiti over it like people seem to do anymore. If you want a nice little hike and feel like you are on an adventure out of Lord of the Rings then I recommend this one to you.
Until we meet again tree people. We will find you all!