A hike, a history lesson and a treasure hunt all in one morning! On Thursday, August 2, the Fallen Arches hiking group set out to hike the flat and easy 3.5 out-and-back Elm Fork Trail located off Old Alton Road in Denton.
As is becoming tradition with the Arches, our member photographer, Dennis Behm, scoped out the Old Alton Bridge for our group picture. Built in 1884 by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company, the bridge is an example of the type of bridges built during America’s western expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The bridge is named after the abandoned community of Alton, which was the Denton County seat between 1850 and 1856. The single lane bridge was used for vehicle traffic until 2001 when a new section of road and a new bridge were built just west of the historical site. A honk and a wave communicated your intent to cross the bridge.
The trail was pretty much as described on AllTrails.com, mostly flat and wide enough in most parts to walk next to a fellow hiker. There was evidence of wildlife along the trail including paw prints, ruts left by feral hogs and a couple of deer. About a mile into the hike, we found ourselves at the foot bridge built to cross a creek. A large section was washed out, but with low water levels and some teamwork, all made it across safely. As we walked and chatted, we learned that four of the hikers were also experienced at geocaching (a modern-day treasure hunt). Donna French verified that there was indeed a cache close to the foot bridge we had just crossed. So, on the way back, Dean and Donna used their geocaching skills to locate the cache and introduce us to the sport. Fun!
Back at the trailhead, we dusted off our shoes and headed to the Snooty Pig in Argyle for breakfast and more stories. What a great way to start a day.