Within the Tongass National Forest, Connell Lake is dammed where Ward Creek drains out at the southwest end, right beside the parking lot where the road comes in. Connell Lake is a good choice if you want a trail that is less popular but just as close to town as the Perseverance trail.
From the trailhead, the rocky, dirt path gently climbs through the rainforest canopy and hugs the shoreline of the lake for most of the trail. Soon you’ll come across a small landslide that the trail bumps over and through. Then you dip down some log steps and climb a little again. Soon you’ll come to a boardwalk, which will bring you to a bridge over a large creek. On the other side is a nice flat area that the creek bows around, creating a small peninsula. A fire-pit indicates that this is a preferred spot to spend some time or camp.
From here, the trail steps up and begins to curve around toward the northeastern end of the lake. After some ups and downs, you find yourself stepping down a steep set of steps to a boardwalk that crosses over a swampy graveyard of stumps in the lake and a panorama of the mountains that box Connell Lake in. The trail again climbs up and swings left through the woods, crosses over a bridge and continues on for a while.
You know you are getting closer to the end of the trail when the boardwalk begins again and walks you through some narrow and watery muskeg fields, leading you away from Connell Lake to finally walk alongside the creek that drains out of Talbot Lake. Soon, you will come across a strange bridge that crosses over the creek just before Talbot Lake, but the trail does not continue on the other side of the bridge. Most likely this bridge is used for fisherman and hunters who want to gain this side of the creek and lakes. Skipping the bridge, the trail continues just a little further and ends at a tent platform at the southwestern end of Talbot Lake, another serene and quiet getaway.
Distance: Round-trip 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 100 feet