My son and I hiked the far north loop a couple of weeks ago. The trail was in generally good condition, with one exception.
South of the crossing of SR 56 at point J on the map is a stream crossing. It wasn't too deep, maybe mid calf, and it wasn't flowing fast. The problem is that both banks are deep sloppy orange (mine drain polluted) mud. My son crossed with sandals on and they were coated with the orange glop. You can't wash the mud off because the banks are all mud, returning to the water would just get you muddy again. I did the crossing in bare feet and then wiped the mud off and put the hiking shoes back on. Neither method seemed very good, I'd like to find a better way.
A close inspection of the map shows a road of some kind (old jeep road?) that is just east of point J. It goes south of SR56 parallel to the trail. Would it be possible to leave the trail at point 13, go downhill (east) to this road, use this road to go north to 56, then west to the point J trail crossing, thereby bypassing the stream crossing?