This pretty hike in the Wet Mountains near Florence follows a creek past numerous waterfalls to a ghost town in a pretty alpine meadow. The trail (No. 1335) begins on County Road 15 just west of the Florence Mountain Park. It follows an old (now closed) logging road and is easy for about a half-mile before it begins to climb uphill along Newlin Creek, passing numerous small cascading waterfalls. At 2.7 miles, after 1,360 feet of elevation gain, it reaches a quiet meadow where in the late 1800s, an entrepreneur built a sawmill, not only building the road by hand but hauling a huge steam boiler and flywheel to the site. The operation ended with his death and only a chimney, boiler, and flywheel remain. Enjoy a snack or lunch in the meadow and return the way you came.
Recommended season(s): Spring – fall.
–R. Scott Rappold