Pinhoti Trail Maintenance

Pinhoti Trail Mtce., Jan. 16,20,& 21, 2014 Rebecca Mt south of Sage Gap comm. Tower
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    I spent 3 days cutting woody growth and knocking off loose limbs from the west comm. tower (Sage Gap) to where the trail joins FS Rd 675 I also picked up a lot of trash near the abandoned comm.Tower. Other team members had already cleared most of the blackberry vines and grass with a weed eater I believe.
Pinhoti Map review meeting at Heflin USFS office, Thurs., 01/23/14 w/ Tara Prizito, Gloria Nielson, Lesley Hodge, & John N Calhoun 10am-1230pm. I was 30 minutes late but stayed until after lunch until about 1pm. The 1st meeting was Feb.21,2013. Total Time = 5 hrs., drive time=2.5 hrs., 130 miles.
Pinhoti Trail building Trip with AHTS , Sat., 01/25/2014. New trail between Weogufka & Flag Mt.
     First we hauled the long creosote timber and installed it over the creek (in the 1st mile
of trail south of Co Rd 41), then started side hill digging along the side of the ridge after the trail leaves the logging road. We had 6 volunteers – Callie Thornton, Joe Jones, Mark & Barbara Murchison, Edwin Martin, & me. I was the first to leave the crew about 130pm and walked back to my car at the fork. We dug out at about ¼ mile of new trail or more. My total time = 7 hrs., drive time = 2 hrs., 10 min., distance = 109 miles, 0.25 miles of trail built.
     I went back the next day, Sunday, Jan. 26, and blazed the trail from the gate to where it joins the log road. I also cut some woody growth and cleared the new route at the new bridge. There were several blazes already north of the creek but I added some at turns in the trail. Total time = 7.25 hrs., drive time = 2 hrs., 8 min., 109 miles. approx. 1 mile of trail blazed.
Pinhoti Trail Mtce. Sat., 02/01/2014, Horn Mt. Section around the peak.

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  I met Hayward Warren at the Walmart in Chelsea. He drove his all wheel drive Subaru to US 77 below Porter Gap and slowly up FS600-1. We parked a few hundred yards past “Wormy’s Pulpit” then hiked down to where the very obscure side trail leaves the Pinhoti and follows the ridgeline up to the tower site. We cleared the Pinhoti starting at the place where it comes very close to FS600-1 just north of Horn Mt. Peak all the way south to Sherman Cliffs. Mainly we just loppered the woody growth but we did pull 2 fallen trees off as we hiked through. On the way back we detoured up to the Picnic pavilion and took pictures of the foreign cane patch, Eastern White pines, fire tower, and privies. The spur trail down to the Pinhoti was not even noticeable except for the original dark blue flagging tape that was placed on a few trees on June 3, 2006 (and very few degraded white blazes). I think most visitors are using the power line ROW or just following the muddy road up . Also, there was a lot of garbage below the overlook at Sherman Cliffs and a concrete memorial cross has been placed near a rock on the next overlook to the north.
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Pinhoti Trail Maintenance

Pinhoti Trail Mtce., Jan. 2,3,5,7-10, 2014. Clairmont Gap to US77, Scott Lake,Horn
Mt. Sections

On Thursday, Jan. 2, I finished clearing 0.9 mile of trail north of Scott Lake. Todd Henderson had used a weed eater near the lake so I just cleared the woody growth. On Friday, Jan. 10, I drove up FS 600-1 for 2.8 miles, parked on the side road, and started down the switchbacks towards Scott Lake. It was a misty, cloudy, “drippy” day. Todd had also used a weed eater on this part as well and there was very little woody growth, so I turned back after about a half mile. I headed south, next, and cleared the woody growth all the way to “Wormy’s Pulpit” (This overlook should now be re-named “Painted Pyro Party Pulpit. Ever visit we make here we collect loads of trash. Not only have vandal visitors spray painted the boulders here but someone has discharged a lot of brown foam. It is a beautiful overlook; too bad there’s no way to protect it.) In summary, the Pinhoti Trail from US Hwy 77 to this lookout is now in very good condition (Todd had also mentioned that he’d used a weed eater from this overlook southwards to the gap north of Horn Mt. tower back in early Nov. 2013. Also, as a note, I was able to drive my Toyota Corolla up FS 600-1 and park 2.8 miles in. The road is in very good condition for the first 1.4 miles but gets a little rough after that with some rocks and small ditches on the steeper slopes.).

On the other 5 work trips, I cleared 5.3 miles from Clairmont Gap south to where the trail briefly joins FS 600-2 near Chandler Springs and the 3.2 miles from Skyline Drive south to US Hwy 77 at Porter Gap Trail-head. There are about 9 car tires and other garbage on the slope below the dirt road where the trail joins FS600-2 north of Talladega Creek (Chandler Springs). I had to deal with some very cold temperatures on two of these trips; one day as I got out of my car it was 11 degrees and another it was 19 degrees f. I had an icy “beard sickle” hanging down one day. I also would recommend using a mechanized brush cutter and not “hand operated” loppers on the first 2.4 miles south of Clairmont Gap (Guntertown Road). Also, as a note, the FS road 600-2 going north from Talladega Creek to the power line just south of Clairmont Gap is in really bad shape with VERY DEEP ruts. I would not even consider taking my “high clearance” truck on this road. In summary, The 23.5 mile section from Adams Gap south to Horn Mt. should now be in very good condition. Total time = 56 hours, drive time = 15 hours, 783 miles, 10.8 miles of trail cleared, 7 trips.

-JC

Pinhoti Trail work, VTA & St Park sections

Pinhoti Trail Mtce., VTA sect. n. of Clairmont Gap, also, St Park sect s. of Hwy281, Dec. 4,8,10,11,&13, 2013.
     It took 5 days to finish clearing the Vulcan Trails Association section (which I’d started on Nov. 21) from Clairmont Gap (Guntertown or Cemetary Mt Rd.) north to Adams Gap (Where AL Hwy 281 ends and FS600-2 begins). I took a day off and hiked with Keith Hudson and the AOA group from Cheaha trailhead down the Cave Creek and Nubbin Creek trails (on Sat., 11/7/13). Several of these days it was cold and windy and one day it was pretty wet but I got it done. I met a thru-hiker named Geoff (pronounced Jeff) from Wildwood, Florida on Wed., 11/4 and also took a side trip on Wed. 11/11 to see the obscure 1846 Bedford Cemetery which is about 3.2 miles south of Ironaton Rd (co rd. 385) along Cemetary Mt Rd. I also cleared the 0.2 mile section of the Pinhoti on St Park property between AL Hwy 281 and the connector trail to the Cave Creek trail near the Cheaha Trail-head (Leaf Gate). Total hrs. = 47.25, drive time = 12.75 hrs., 617 miles, 6.4 miles of trail cleared, 5 trips.
     Work Needed: The sign where the trail crosses FS637U below Patterson Gap is in very bad shape and is just leaning against a tree. Blazes also need to be painted here especially on the south side. The signs at the north and south crossings of FS600-2 near Burgess Point also could be replaced. I did notice 2 new signs at Adams Gap, Thanks. About 0.4 mile north of FS637-U where the trail crosses the 2ndcreek (heading north) and starts to climb up the side of the ridge again needs to be marked better. As you continue north and follow the trail into two small side ravines (about 0.8 mile n. of FS637U or 1.2 miles s. of Adams Gap), both of these need some “side hill” digging to widen the trail.
On our Saturday hike along the Cave Creek/Nubbin Creek trails, we carried out a lot of trash, including 2 tents ! The trails were in pretty good shape but could use some loppering especially below the wilderness sign heading out southward along the laurel thickets to the Nubbin Creek Trailhead.  John N Calhoun 205-956-7287

 

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Trail Building in Weogufka, Alabama

Side hilling went great this past weekend on the new section of the Pinhoti in Weogufka, Alabama.  We had nine volunteers this time so we have accomplish 1/2 mile at this point but trail work will continue over the next few months including the trail work week March 17-22. It’s coming along slow but steady. Feel free to contact me at 256-786-0894 for future trail work days.