Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sherwood Hills Maze

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Sherwood Hills Maze
The Sherwood Hills Maze (or Labyrinth) in the foothills of Orem, Utah offers more of a spiritual destination, rather than say, an overlook. This area is not well know, and my friends who live in the area would like to keep it that way. Plus, I really wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone - there is a lot of overgrowth, bushwhacking is required, you have to be very careful about skirting around the private property in the area.

I was able to get a map from a friend, and followed a particular route that allowed me to avoid the private property, but I had to deal with not only the trail issues, but also rain. Let's just say it was a miserable hike, and leave it at that. Because I don't recommend the route I took, nor want to fully expose the location of Sherwood Hills Maze, I'm going to leave out directions, trail stats, and the trail map. If you do your own research, you may be able to tell where I am at based on photos. 

The Sherwood Hills Maze (sometimes referred to as the Sherwood Hills Labyrinth) is a rock formation created by someone (or something) - these ancient patterns are actually found all over the world; Utah has 17 labyrinth's. There are many patterns, sharing the overall same design. Their origin is mysterious and their uses are as varied as the patterns are. There are two types of labyrinth. 1) a maze, with repeatedly dividing paths, forcing the traveler to choose among options and 2) a meander, which a single, undivided path and no choices to make other than traveling onward through the winding patterns to an assured goal.

There are several ideas as to why labyrinths exists.

Religious transformation can use labyrinths as a meditation tool or walk it simply for the peace and serenity that comes from being along and contemplating an issue or problem. It can be considered a sacred space in nature.

Personal transformation to focus your thoughts on a question or concern. You may walk with a quiet mind, sensing with wonder. In the labyrinth, as in life, there is no single right way to follow the path.

Psychological transformation to focus the mind and put the walker in tune with the greater reality metaphorically represented by the labyrinth.

Pure entertainment is the last possible thought as to why they exist.
Sherwood Hills Maze
As I started my hike, dark clouds loomed in the area. I knew I would get a little wet, and I was ok with that. I was not prepared for a downpour.

Sherwood Hills Maze
The trail was lined with low brush - the kind that tears up your legs if you wear shorts (which I was). By this point there was a steady mist and I had little cuts all over my legs.
Sherwood Hills Maze
I had to do a lot of route finding, as you can tell that the "trail" was almost impossible to see. This is what most of my time hiking looked like.
Sherwood Hills Maze
Finally I got to a spot where the trail opened up, and I was able to see where I was. Even darker clouds is the distance.
Sherwood Hills Maze
About halfway into my hike the rain started coming down heavily, in sheets. I tried to keep my head down to protect my face. You can see behind me that the sky was now white, and socked in with rain. Charlie didn't seem to mind, but I was not happy. Everything was soaked.
Sherwood Hills Maze
Finally after an hour of hiking in the rain, bushwhacking, route finding, and skirting around the private property, I came upon my destination.
Sherwood Hills Maze
Charlie and I hid out under a tree at the labyrinth (or maze) to decide on how we would get back to the car. I tried taking a shorter route (not on a trail) and ended up getting lost and walking in circles because the trees and shrub were just too dense. It made more sense to go back the way I came, even though it would take longer. Thankfully I was able to pull up Google Earth on my iPhone and see where I was, and how to get back to the maze. That app has saved my life two or three times! If anyone knows about this trail, and knows the easier and/or shorter route, please send me an email - there has to be an easier way!
Sherwood Hills Maze
Obviously this is not where I hiked it, nor my photo. It's another type of labyrinth in Utah (hint, near Zion NP), made of steel beams. This shows what labyrinths look like a little better without the grass.



Have you been to any labyrinths? If so, where?
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1 comment:

  1. Gee, we were hiking to similar sites recently! The Medicine Wheel was spokes coming from the center cairn. Your hike does look miserable. But you and Charlie saw it through:) Too bad the grass was so long. It looked like a neat labyrinth.

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