Lime Kiln was one of my weekend go-to hikes when I started getting clean. Over the years, as I progressed well beyond a five-mile hike for the weekends, it fell by the wayside as a destination. However, since I was recovering from a severe shoulder injury and trying to get myself back into fighting shape for the summer, it felt like a worthy place for a rainy day trail run.
It was evident how long it had been when I could not find the trailhead for Lime Kiln. I used to know my way to it like a second home, but I got lost twice before realizing Google was trying to get me to drive to the kiln site instead of the trailhead. As per the norm, when I arrived mid-morning, the trailhead was packed even on a cloudy day, and parking was scarce. As luck would have it, one car was starting to pull out, and I managed to grab a space without having to drive back down the road.
The first mile of the Lime Kiln trail starts on an old railroad bed, which provided plenty of space for passing other hikers while I was getting warmed up.
After the first section, running became far more difficult when the trail started to narrow. Due to the several days of rain before I embarked on the trail, there were substantial muddy sections all over, and skirting around other hikers became difficult and, at times, annoying.
After passing the old kiln site, the number of hikers became thinned out, and running the entire loop down to the shore and back was a more pleasant experience. Though I had been mostly relegated to a couch for several months after breaking my collarbone, I was still able to make it to the river shore short of an hour.
The one thing I always need to remember about this trail is that the entire run on the way in is downhill, so the whole hike back to the car is uphill. In my less-than-fit state, I could only switch between fast hiking the steepest sections and running the moderate ones. All in all, making the 6.8-mile journey in an hour and a half while being out of shape was a great mood booster.
With the number of people on the trail, I will stay away from Lime Kiln as a run in the future and leave it for a gingerly paced walk.