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current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point ~ s14 - 7.3 ~ cave spring trailhead
pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
a 337.1 mile southern region appalachian trail connector
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section 12 / snailtrail
oakey mountain / piedmont.
S ~ 0.0 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD
N ~ 16.2 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD
S ~ 150.8 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD
N ~ 167.1 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD
ELEVATION ~ L 767’ ~ H 1871’
WOODS TRAIL ~ 0.0 ~ 16.2
ROAD WALK ~ 0.0
LANDMARK ~ TERRAPIN CREEK, OAKEY MOUNTAIN
LOCAL TOWN ~ PIEDMONT
CS ~ CONVEINENCE STORE ~ 16.2
TT ~ TRAIL TOWN ~ 16.2
PO ~ POST OFFICE ~
SC ~ SMALL CAMP ~ 8.6
LC ~ LARGE CAMP ~ 0.1, 2.4, 5.1, 6.4, 7.9, 12.5, 15.4
TS ~ TRAIL SHELTER ~ 0.1, 6.4
SW ~ SEASONAL WATER ~ 3.1, 3.3, 5.1, 6.8, 8.8, 13.6
RW ~ RELIABLE WATER ~ 0.0, 2.4, 7.9, 8.1, 15.4
USE ODOMETER OR TRIP METER
NORTHERN TERMINUS / FINISH HIKE
PARK FINISH HIKE VEHICLE FIRST
16.2 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD
From the intersection of AL 9 and US 278 in Piedmont, AL, go
east on US 278 1.2 miles to the 4 way stop sign.
Turn left on US 278.
Go 7.5 miles to the High Point Trailhead parking area, on the
right, just past the 165-mile marker.
SOUTHERN TERMINUS / START HIKE
PARK START HIKE VEHICLE
0.0 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD
From the High Point Trailhead parking area, go left on US 278 for
7.5 miles back to the 4 way stop in Piedmont. Turn right.
Go 1.2 miles to AL 9 South. Turn left.
Go 10.0 miles to the flashing yellow light at CR 55. Turn left.
Go 8.8 miles to a dirt road, FS 500. Turn left. There is a black
mailbox on the right at this turn with this address- 2O346.
Go 2.0 miles to the North FS 500 Trailhead parking area- there is
a small pull off on the left just past the bridge.
CHIEF LADIGA TRAIL CAMPGROUND
7.9 ~ CHIEF LADIGA RAIL TRAIL
You can see The Chief Ladiga Trail Campground out in front of
you when you reach the asphalt.
Turn left on the Ladiga and go 100 feet to the rear entrance. The two
buildings you see are the bath house and the office/ camp store.
Primitive camping and or hot showers are available.
Campground may close in winter?? 256-282-2370
SOUTHERN TERMINUS ~ START HIKE
CONTINUE NORTH TALLADEGA HIGHLANDS
0.0 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD ~ RW ~ 860'
From the trailhead parking area, go left up the hill for 50’. The
north trail goes in the woods on the right.
RW ~ The creek on the south side of FS 500 is the water source for
the North Dugger Mountain Shelter.
NEXT RW ~ 2.4 miles.
HISTORY ~ In 1986, the US Forest Service received 3 million
dollars from Congress to purchase 6000 acres of land from the
Nature Conservancy. This purchase extended the northern
boundary of the Talladega National Forest from Dugger
Mountain north to the Cherokee / Cleburne County line, which
also provided a trail corridor for the Pinhoti. This land includes
Oakey Mountain, Wilson Ridge, Maxwell Gap and Augusta Mine
HISTORY ~ Every now and then you will come across an area
that has been burned. Most times, these fires are started by the
Forest Service and are called Prescribed Burns. The main reason
for this is to keep the leaf layer on the ground, which is called
Duff, thin enough so that if there is an accidental fire in that area,
it won't burn hot enough to kill all the trees. At the same time,
these controlled burns also keep the Kudzu like growth of Sweet
gum and Red Maple under control. When there is a fire caused by
nature or man in an area where the Duff is thick enough to kill the
trees, which is what happened here, this is called a Hot Fire.
Sometimes an interesting thing happens after a Hot Fire, an
annual plant called Fire Weed sprouts up, which looks a lot like
corn in height and leaf shape, and the area will start to resemble
a large cornfield. I had the opportunity to see this happen here on
the north side of FS 500 in 2002.
0.1 ~ NORTH DUGGER MTN SHELTER ~ LC, TS ~ 1020'
When you reach the old FS road, the trail goes straight across.
LC, TS ~ Turn right on the road and go about 50 yards up to the
shelter site, on the right. There are a few flat spots on the old FS
road and also near the shelter for camping.
RW ~ The water source for the shelter is back at the 0.0 ~ North
FS 500 Trailhead.
HISTORY ~ This is one of the three shelters built by the FS in 2006
with grant money received after the Pinhoti's designation as a
Millennium Legacy Trail. The view from the front of the shelter is
of Oakey Mountain. Construction of the shelter was completed in
0.5 ~ OAKEY MOUNTAIN VIEW
There are great views of Oakey on the right for the next half mile
due to a "Hot Fire" that swept through here a few years ago.
1.0 ~ ROCKY RIDGE
1.1 ~ ROAD BED
When you get to the road bed, turn right and go 0.15 miles. Then
go back in the woods on the left. Keep an eye out for the blazes.
BEGIN OAKEY MOUNTAIN
2.4 ~ TERRAPIN CREEK WATERSHED USFS ~ LC, RW ~ 840'
When you first see the lake, the trail is going away from the dam.
After a short distance there is a switch back to the left that takes
you back toward the dam. The trail goes across the top of the dam
and then straight into the woods. When you first get in sight of the
lake, there is an awesome view of Oakey Mountain rising to 1940'.
The trail crosses over her at 1720' on the far-left side, 2.2 miles
past the dam.
LC, RW ~ There is a campsite at the bottom of the dam by the
creek. You can also camp on top of the dam. Because the FS
brings in bush hogs to mow the grass on the dam, please refrain
from building any type of fire rings. Thanks!
NEXT RW ~ 5.7 miles
WILDFLOWER ~ Blue Dogbane ~ Blue / April
MOSS ~ British Soldiers
FLOWERING SHRUB ~ Carolina Silver Bell ~ White / May ~
DUSTY HYDRANGIA ~ White
HISTORY ~ The USDA calls this Floodwater Retarding Dam #31.
It was built in 1972 and the lake has a surface area of 49 acres.
This dam and the ones at Choccolocco and Sweetwater are known
as 200-year dams. Notice that there are 2 concrete overflows. The
engineers estimated that after 100 years, the lowest overflow
would be covered in silt and after 200 years the upper overflow
would be covered. Then it's time to go to plan B ??
3.1 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
WILDFLOWER ~ Iris ~ Purple / March
3.3 ~ NORTH SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
3.4 ~ LOST TRAIL COVE
There is an unexpected, marked switchback on your left in the
back end of a cove. It's not marked before the turn, but after you
make the turn there is a blaze. From here up to the Oakey
Mountain Crossing, there are great winter views of the western
end of Big Tank Ridge and the Piedmont Valley.
UPDATE 2005 ~ A good sign has been planted in the back of the
cove with an arrow pointing left for north-bounders and right for
4.6 ~ OAKEY MOUNTAIN CROSSING ~ 1720'
Here are some great views on the left of Little Tank Ridge in the
foreground, Big Tank Ridge in the background and Wilson Ridge
on the right. These 3 ridges run west to east as opposed to Oakey
Mountain and Augusta Mine Ridge, which run south to north.
The trail crosses the east end of Wilson Ridge on its way up to
SUMMIT ~ Oakey Mountain ~ 1940' ~ #17 on the list of 100
highest named summits in Alabama. From the crossing, the
summit is app. 1 or 2 miles to the right along the ridgeline.
4.7 ~ NORTH OAKEY SWITCHBACKS
The first switchback is an old road bed that goes to the right just
as soon as you cross over the ridgeline. Keep a lookout for the
second switchback on the left after about a quarter mile.
5.1 ~ NORTH OAKEY CAMPSITE ~ LC, SW
There is a good seasonal spring crossing here and the fire ring is
on the left. This area is a little boggy during wet seasons and
would probably not be suitable for warm weather camping.
LC ~ The campsite is on the left just before the spring crossing.
SW ~ This is the south water source for the Oakey Mountain
6.4 ~ OAKEY MOUNTAIN SHELTER / ROAD BED ~ LC, TS
When you get to this old road bed, the trail goes straight across.
LC ~ Go left on the road bed 25 yards to a large, level campsite.
There are also plenty of level spots at the shelter.
TS ~ Turn right on the road bed and go 20 yards. Look for the
shelter on the right.
SW ~ The water source is the spring crossing at mile 5.1 (south),
or 6.8 (north).
HISTORY ~ This is one of the three shelters built by the FS in
2006 with grant money received after the Pinhoti's designation as
a Millennium Legacy Trail. Construction of the shelter was
completed in March, 2006.
HISTORY ~ A picnic table was built here by friends of Oakey
Mountain on May 5, 2008.
6.8 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
The watershed area for this spring is pretty large and I've never
seen it dry, but it's not really big enough for me to want to call it a
reliable water source.
SW ~ This is the north water source for the Oakey Mountain
END OF OAKEY MOUNTAIN
BEGIN TERRAPIN CREEK VALLEY
7.9 ~ CHIEF LADIGA RAIL TRAIL ~ CLT MILE 7.0 ~ CS, LC,
RW, HS ~ 767'
The Pinhoti turns right on the Ladiga Trail.
LC, RW, HS ~ October 2010 - You can see The Chief Ladiga Trail
Campground out in front of you when you reach the asphalt.
Turn left on the Ladiga and go 100 feet to the entrance. The two
buildings you see are the bath house and the office/ camp store.
Primitive camping and or hot showers are available. Sometime in
the near future there will be 160 campsites and also kayak and
bike rentals. Call 256-282-2370
NEXT RW ~ 7.5 miles.
HISTORY 2006 ~ The Ladiga is a Rails to Trails project that is
almost completed from Anniston to the Georgia state line, near
Cedartown. It then hooks up with the almost completed Silver
Comet Trail and goes on into Atlanta. There were rumors of a
proposed campground being set up near here for hikers and
bikers but I haven't heard anything for a couple of years now.
UPDATE 2008 ~ Both of these Rails to Trails have been
HISTORY 2010 ~ The Chief Ladiga Campground is under
HISTORY 2015 ~ The campground is open for business.
Campsites, bath house, camp store. 256-282-2370
8.1 ~ TERRAPIN CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW ~ 767'
RW ~ You will have a difficult time gaining access to the creek at
8.4 ~ CHIEF LADIGA RAIL TRAIL ~ CLT MILE 6.5
The Pinhoti leaves the Ladiga Trail here on the left. Look for this
well-marked left turn about 50 feet before the CLT 6.5-mile post.
END TERRAPIN CREEK VALLEY
BEGIN WILSON RIDGE
8.5 ~ CR 94 CROSSING ~ 780'
The trail goes straight across the road. There is a steep 600' climb
1/2 mile ahead. Keep an eye out for some stunning views on the
left of Oakey Mountain, Terrapin Creek Valley, Ladiga Trail and
the Terrapin Creek Bridge.
8.6 ~ 94 CAMPSITE ~ SC ~ 850'
There are several small, level sites in this area, without fire rings.
8.8 ~ 94 SPRING CROSSING ~ SW ~ 920'
This is a pretty good spring, below a large drainage area.
9.8 ~ WILSON RIDGE CROSSING ~ 1380'
END WILSON RIDGE
10.1 ~ CR 70 / MAXWELL GAP CROSSING ~ 1156'
The trail goes diagonally across the road to the left. There is
another steep climb ahead, only it is 700' this time! Keep an eye
out for some great views behind you and on your right of the
north side of Wilson Ridge.
BEGIN AUGUSTA MINE RIDGE
10.1 ~ AUGUSTA MINE RIDGE ~ 1871'
Once you finish the climb, the trail crosses over to the west side of
the ridge. This sometime confusing section of trail will be hopping
on and off a 4-wheeler road for the next 0.6 miles. Keep a sharp
eye out for blazes and curved rows of rocks. There are a lot of
good winter views on the left through here of the Piedmont valley
and at several places you will see the Wolf Ridge microwave
tower. The trail leaves Augusta Mine Ridge 2.0 miles ahead and
goes by this tower.
11.6 ~ ROCKY TOP 8 ~ 1871'
11.7 ~ ROBERT R. FURGERSON MEMORIAL PLAQUE
Look for the plaque on a pile of boulders to the right of the trail.
HISTORY ~ This section of the Pinhoti was made possible
through the generosity of Audrey A. Furgerson, who granted a
1500' trail easement to us in memory of her late husband, Robert.
Thank you. The memorial is on the right.
After a long open descent on the 4-wheeler road, there is a
wooden sign post on the left indicating the turn off of the road.
END AUGUSTA MINE RIDGE
BEGIN WOLF RIDGE
12.5 ~ LANIE GAP ~ LC, SW ~ 1460'
There are 4-wheeler roads coming in from the north, south, east
and west. The Pinhoti comes in from the southeast and
immediately leaves northeast. Look for the blazes on the right,
by the fire ring. The trail has now left Augusta Mine Ridge and
is on Wolf Ridge.
SW ~ The headwaters of Lanie Creek begin about 200' east of the
Gap during the wet season. Follow the 4-wheeler road, on the
12.7 ~ WOLF RIDGE MICROWAVE TOWER ~ 1639'
There are some big rocks lining the trail on the right and the
tower is barely visible about 300’ away, on the left through the
13.6 ~ LANIE HOLLOW ~ SW ~ 900'
The trail has now left Wolf Ridge (1639') and is on Rock Quarry
Mountain (1620'). There are great views of Lanie Hollow and
Augusta Mine Ridge along your right side.
SW ~ There are 4 spring crossings along the next 1.8 miles.
SUMMIT ~ Rock Quarry Mountain ~ 1620' ~ #67 on the list of 100
highest named summits in Alabama.
END WOLF RIDGE
15.4 ~ LANIE CREEK CROSSING ~ LC, RW ~ 900'
There is a small trail to the left just before the creek crossing
running along the bank that goes downstream about 25' to a
NEXT RW ~ 0.8 miles
INDIAN TRAIL TREE (not authentic) ~ Look for this tree about
0.2 miles north of the creek crossing, on the left edge of the trail.
FORDING HAZARD ~ This creek is about 10' wide, 1' deep and
has a little room to spread out after a heavy rain, but can get
over knee high. Use extreme caution.
HISTORY ~ Look for the concrete dam on the creek a little bit
past the crossing. About 150 miles south of here, at the southern
terminus of the Pinhoti Trail at Flagg Mountain, there is a dam
that is almost identical to this one that was built to form a small
pond like this. It was used as the water source for the CCC Tower
and Cabins. The old pump house and pump at Flagg Mountain,
just below the dam, are still intact. Water was pumped 0.25 miles
up to the top of the mountain. This dam on Lanie Creek may have
once been used to supply water for the mine workers here.
16.2 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD / US 278 ~ TT, RW, HS ~ 800'
The trail comes out at the trailhead parking area on US 278.
RW ~ Go right 0.1 miles to a difficult access creek running along
the right side of the road.
END NORTH TALLADEGA HIGHLANDS
END SHOAL CREEK RANGER DISTRICT
END TALLADEGA NATIONAL FOREST
NORTHERN TERMINUS / FINISH HIKE
al snail trail
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