HIKING TO GEORGIA ON THE PINHOTI TRAIL | APRIL2013

HIKING TO GEORGIA ON THE PINHOTI TRAIL:: APRIL2013               

26.6 miles from Terrapin Creek Watershed NOBO to Jackson’s Chapel  Trailhead in Georgia.

DAY 1                                                                                                                                     TERRAPIN WATERSHED – OAKEY MOUNTAIN SHELTER                                                  MILEAGE 4 MILES

Picking up where I had started on the famed abandoned hike of NOV2011, I decided to drop back in where the wife had left me on that cold November day to head southbound…the Terrapin Watershed.  This watershed is just south of Oakey Mountain in a picturesque valley.  However, on this trip I would be headed over Oakey Mountain northbound to Georgia.

I made contact with Pinhoti ambassador, BlisterBob once again.  He said he could shuttle me from Jackson’s Chapel Trailhead to Terrapin Creek Watershed.  I stationed my truck @ the GA Trailhead and waited on BlisterBob to pick me up.  It was a wonderful “Blue-Bird” day with not a cloud in the sky.  BlisterBob gets to the trailhead not long after me and we make our way toward Piedmont and the watershed.  We take the back roads he knows from giving himself so much to the preservation and upkeep of the entire Pinhoti trail in Alabama.  I can only hope to do the same one day when I retired.  He gets me onto the trail with some of ShadowSue’s cookies and well wishes.

I made my ascent up over Oakey Mountain for the night’s 1st camp at Oakey Mountain Shelter. Only 4miles from the watershed was the plan seeing how it was later in the day.  Oakey Mt shelter is a pretty nice shelter with water being down the trail only 4/10s of a mile. I decided after being there for a while to just go ahead set up in the shelter. The night offered a comfortable night’s sleep with sounds of coyotes in the distance.

DAY 2                                                                                                                               OAKEY MOUNTAIN SHELTER – HAWKIN’S HOLLOW SHELTER                            MILEAGE 15.4 miles

The next morning was welcomed with a cup of Starbuck’s Via Blonde Roast before breaking down camp for the next day’s trail offerings.

Once on the trail, I quickly get to the Chief Ladiga Rail Trail and cross over the trails’ bridge that goes over the Terrapin creek which flows to the watershed from whence I came the day before.

After crossing over the bridge, the trail goes back into the woods.

Up over the next jaunt through Maxwell Gap on the way over the Augusta Mine Ridge. A place full of rich mining history in itself.

Continuing on I make it to HighPoint Trailhead on HWY278 heading in Georgia. Once crossing over HWY 278, I start the next hike up over another ridge.  This ascent offers an area referred to as “The Pits.”  While prepping, I discovered historical fact of this area being an almost boom town for iron ore mining.  The Pits was an area where Hematite was mined many years ago. Hematite is a mineral, colored black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish-brown, or red. It is mined as the main ore of iron. The Pinhoti trail leads straight through the Hematite pits where mine tailings are still present.  This creates a man-made canyon like setting that the trees have repossessed.  Very interesting area indeed!!!

After “The Pits” a few miles pass as I come to a small spring and up the bald-like mountain is the next shelter…,Davis Mountain Shelter.

Down the mountain after a woods walk is Hurricane Creek which thankfully has a nice bridge to cross.

Just past the Hurricane creek bridge is Salem Church Road.

Shortly after the Salem Church road crossing is Hawkins Hollow which yields probably the absolutely best Shelter on the entire Pinhoti trail.

Newly constructed, it is based in Hawkin’s Hollow where two streams converge into a small, what looks like a quarry basin.  Getting to the shelter, you will have to climb a trail ladder.

I think this offers such a wonderful change to the sometimes ho-hum trodding on a trail.  Pretty cool!

This area also offers a raised tent platform a few yards way from the Shelter.  This was my destination for the day 2.  I set up my gear on the platform because a Great Eastern Trail hiker that goes by the trailname, Princess Doah, had her tent set up in the shelter and I thought it well not to stay in the same shelter out of respect for my wife. She invited me to do the same as there was plenty of room. While I didn’t stay in the shelter,  I did spend the evening talking to her about her journey from Key West, FL.  Her destination was the Great Smoky Mountains.  I wished her evening well and went back to the tent platform where I had my gear already set up.  I slumbered out the night and by the time I had gotten up, Princess Doah was passing by the tent platform wishing me well.

 

DAY 3                                                                                                                                    HAWKINS HOLLOW  TO  JACKSON’S CHAPEL TRAILHEAD                                   MILEAGE 7.2 miles

So I packed up camp to place it on my back and head toward Indian Mountain, the Alabama / Georgia State line, and then on to Jackson’s Chapel Trailhead where my truck is stationed.

Indian Mountain offered pretty good views of Piedmont valley and other valley into Georgia.

I soon come up to  the state line of Alabama and Georgia.

I had hiked to Georgia!!!  At this point on the trail, someone had placed an Alabama and both Georgia flag.

Now down Indian mountain on the Georgia side to Jackson’s Chapel Traihead.  Only 2miles to go…

After passing Spring Creek Shelter and some maturing pine groves the Trailhead appears.

There it is…Jackson’s Chapel Trailhead and down the road, it’s namesake… Jackson’s Chapel United Methodist Church, was established in the 1800’s.

Well…that’s it for this trip.  Off to plan for Bull Gap over Rebecca Mountain to 603A Trailhead just off Trammel motorway from Sylacauga.

Until next time…,

JBEN

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