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current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point ~ s14 - 7.3 ~ cave spring trailhead
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2018 alabama ~ georgia
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dugger mtn wilderness.
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leave no trace.
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shoal creek church.
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ultralight gearlist: 2018.
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wildlife - eco restore.
pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
a 337.1 mile southern region appalachian trail connector
In case of emergencies, dial 911. This is the only public service that will know your exact location
Do phone reset first ~ go to settings / go to privacy / turn on location services
section 5 / snailtrail
burgess tower / talladega.
S ~ 0.0 ~ PORTER’S GAP TRAILHEAD
N ~ 15.5 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD
S ~ 58.1 ~ PORTER’S GAP TRAILHEAD
N ~ 73.8 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD
ELEVATION ~ L 843’ ~ H 1870’
WOODS TRAIL ~ 0.0 ~ 15.5
ROAD WALK ~ 0.0
LANDMARK ~ BURGESS TOWER
LOCAL TOWN ~ TALLADEGA / ASHLAND
CS ~ CONVEINENCE STORE ~ 0.0
TT ~ TRAIL TOWN ~ 0.0
PO ~ POST OFFICE ~ 0.0
SC ~ SMALL CAMP ~ 4.1, 5,2, 13.8
LC ~ LARGE CAMP ~ 3.4, 4.9, 9.7, 12.1, 13.9, 15.3
TS ~ TRAIL SHELTER ~ PROPOSED 5.2, 13.9
SW ~ SEASONAL WATER ~ 5.2, 6.6, 13.8, 13.9, 14.3, 14.4, 15.3
RW ~ RELIABLE WATER ~ 3.4, 15.3
USE ODOMETER OR TRIP METER (NO REALLY!)
PARK FINISH HIKE VEHICLE FIRST.
NORTHERN TERMINUS / FINISH HIKE
15.5 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD
Exit I-20 at US 431, east of Oxford, AL.
Go south 3.4 miles to the second right turn past the overhead
bridge at the top of the ridge. Turn right (there is a brown Cheaha
State Park sign here).
Go 0.4 miles to the stop sign at AL 281. Turn left.
Go 17.9 miles to the end of the pavement. This is the Adams Gap
Trailhead parking area.
SOUTHERN TERMINUS / START HIKE
PARK START HIKE VEHICLE
0.0 ~ PORTER’S GAP TRAILHEAD
From the Adams Gap Trailhead parking area, go across AL 281 to
the small downhill paved road.
Go 1.5 miles to the first paved road on the right, Blue Ridge Road.
Go 1.2 miles to the stop sign at CR 12. Turn right.
Go 6.7 miles to the stop sign at CR 209. Turn right.
Go 3.2 miles to the stop sign at AL 77. Turn right.
Go 1.2 miles to the Trailhead parking area, on right.
18.0 ~ PORTERS GAP TRAILHEAD
CS ~ Go west on AL 77 for 4.6 miles to a small store.
CS ~ Go east 0.5 and 2.3 miles to stores.
TT ~ Go west on AL 77 for 8.9 miles. Turn right at the
intersection a little way past the High School.
Go 1 mile to Wal-Mart, motels, laundry and food.
US POST OFFICE
127 East Street N
Talladega, AL 35160
Go right 13.4 miles to Ashland. Groceries, clean motel,
laundry, food, laundry. Hiker services are all in
the town area.
SOUTHERN TERMINUS ~ START HIKE
CONTINUE SOUTH TALLADEGA HIGHLANDS
BEGIN TALLADEGA MOUNTAIN
0.0 ~ PORTERS GAP TRAILHEAD ~ AL 77 ~ 977' ~ CS, TT
The Pinhoti begins at the back of the parking area, to the right.
Look for the blue blaze painted on a tree.
NEXT RW ~ 3.4 miles.
WILDFLOWER ~ Blazing Star ~ Purple ~ October
WILDFLOWER ~ Candy Root ~ Yellow ~ May
HISTORY 2008 ~ A new trailhead parking area was completed
at Porter's Gap by the USFS and the Alabama Department of
Transportation. The new parking area was built because the
re-routing of AL 77 took the highway through the old parking
1.3 ~ CHANDLER GAP ~ 1100’
You will cross the old Gap Road here (it just looks like a gulley
now). You may hear a lot of gunfire in this area at times. The
USFS Shepard Branch Shooting Complex is way down in the
valley to your left.
WILDFLOWER ~ Woodland Sunflower ~ Yellow ~ May
2.3 ~ ROCKY TOP 1 ~ 1450'
There are many special places along the Pinhoti and the Rocky
Tops are at the top of my list. The trail may be hard to see in these
areas, so keep an eye out for the blue blazes.
2.7 ~ SWITCHBACKS ~ DOWNHILL ~ 1320'
3.2 ~ SKYWAY ROAD ~ 858'
When you get to the road, you will turn left and go 0.2 miles to
the RR tracks and the bridge.
WILDFLOWER ~ Lobelia ~ Purple ~ September
3.4 ~ TALLADEGA CREEK BRIDGE ~ LC, RW ~ 843'
The trail crosses the bridge and goes straight on FS 600 for 0.2
miles, then goes back in the woods on the left.
RW - You can turn left after the bridge and go a short distance for
easy access to the creek.
NEXT RW ~ 12.7 miles (this includes the 0.8-mile hike west on the
Skyway Loop Trail to the creek).
HISTORY ~ The Alice Springs Campground. The campground is
no longer in operation.
Look for the Alice Springs Campground on the right just before
the bridge. The owners provided campsites and firewood for $5
per night at the old CCC Campground and Day or overnight
parking for a $2 donation. Trig and Alice were very hiker
Alice Springs Campground
600 Skyline Drive
Chandler Springs, AL
WILDFLOWER ~ Common Evening Primrose ~ Yellow ~ August
HISTORY ~ This bridge was built in 1948 to replace the old one.
You can still see the old bridge supports downstream. At one time
these old crossings were an important link between the farms and
towns. In many places like here and the covered bridge crossing
at Waldo, just a few miles downstream, there were large
campgrounds for people walking with mules or in wagons who
could not make the trip to the markets in Talladega in one day.
This was a 3-day, 36-mile round trip from Ashland. The
campground is located at the north east corner of the bridge and
during the 1930's this was a Civilian Conservation Corps camp for
the crew that built FS 600 (-2) from Bull Gap to Mt. Cheaha, which
at the time was the main south entrance road to the state park.
3.6 ~ FS 600 TURNOFF ~ 870'
This is where the trail goes back in the woods on the left, 0.2 miles
after the bridge. There is a good sign post here.
3.7 ~ SWITCHBACKS ~ UPHILL ~ 910'
4.1 ~ CAMPSITE ~ SC ~ 1130'
There is a good level spot on the right with no fire ring.
4.9 ~ FS 600 CROSSING ~ LC ~ 1410'
The trail goes straight across the road. As soon as you cross over,
there is an old road bed on the right that goes downhill 100 yards
to some thick pine straw covered flat spots. Really bad place for a
WILDFLOWER ~ Aster ~ Purple ~ October
5.1 ~ SWITCHBACKS ~ DOWNHILL ~ 1200'
5.2 ~ CAMPSITE / SPRING CROSSING ~ SC, SW
PROPOSED AHTS SHELTER
6.1 ~ ROCKY TOP 2 ~ 1450'
There is a rocky overlook on the right with a good view of the
HISTORY ~ The trains still run through this section, which is
between Talladega and Lineville. If you could look straight down
through the trees to the base of the ridge, you would see the Horn
Mountain Trail Club Base Camp beside the tracks on CR 12
(Clairmont Springs Road). You would also see an old whistle stop
community called Weathers (Station), 1/2 mile to the west on
CR 12. The old Steam Locomotives would stop here to fill up with
water from the pond beside the tracks. The little white house
beside the pond was the Station Master's home. If you were to
continue west on the tracks 2 or 3 miles you would come to where
you were 90 minutes ago ~ the 3.4 ~Talladega Creek Bridge
Crossing. The old Clairmont Springs Hotel is just a few miles to
the east on the tracks. Their claim to fame were the seven springs
on the property, that each contained a different mineral. The
well-heeled would ride the train out for a "healing" soak. If you
could look past Poe Bridge Mountain, on the far side of the valley,
you would see the town of Ashland, whose Courthouse is at a
higher elevation than any other in the state at 1153'. Until
Mentone, AL recently incorporated, Ashland was also the highest
incorporated city in Alabama.
6.3 ~ FS 600 CROSSING ~ 1480'
The trail goes straight across the road.
6.5 ~ SWITCHBACKS ~ DOWNHILL ~ SW ~ 1430'
The first switchback goes to the left. As soon as you turn right on
the second switchback there is a good spring down on your left.
6.6 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW ~ 1400'
The water runs underground most of the time near the trail. You
may have to follow the stream bed downhill a little to find a pool.
6.8 ~ ROCK GARDEN ~ 1410'
With the proper attitude adjustment, crossing these 14 rock fields
is fun! Just go ahead and plan at least 2 hard hours for the next
1.9 miles, kick back and relax. The first half is very rugged and
you really need to have your lightning reflexes dialed in. The
going gets easier after the halfway point but you still have to pay
constant attention to the loose rocks and holes.
WILDFLOWER ~ Spiderwort ~ Purple ~ Spring
8.7 ~ DEAD CAR ~ POWER LINE CROSSING ~ 1360'
This car found out there is a sharp curve on FS 600, which is right
up above you. DUUUCK!!
8.8 ~ POWER LINE CROSSING ~ 1340'
8.9 ~ CLAIRMONT GAP ~ 1356'
The trail comes out on FS 600. Turn left and go 20 yards, cross
Guntertown Road, then go another 10 yards on FS 600. The trail
goes back in the woods on the left. There are 4 switchbacks up
9.1 ~ CLAIRMONT SWITCHBACKS ~ UPHILL ~ 1420'
The first turn is on the right. The second turn is on the left and
puts you on an old roadbed. Keep a close eye on the blazes for
the third turn, which is on the right. The fourth turn is on the left
at the top of Clairmont Point.
9.5 ~ CLAIRMONT POINT ~ 1650'
After you make the left turn on the fourth switchback, go about 10'
and turn sharp left again and follow the ridge line up to Rocky
Top 3. This sharp left was not marked in early 2004. There is a
good southern view here of Clairmont Gap and the ridge going
south and it's also a great spot to watch winter sunsets.
9.7 ~ ROCKY TOP 3 ~ LC ~ 1770'
LC ~ Hmmm... Yes, there is a fire ring here and a few flat spots,
but you better have some really tough tent stakes with you!
11.3 ~ BURGESS POINT VIEW ~ 1600'
Here is a good winter view of the south side of the point.
11.4 ~ FS 600 CROSSING ~ 1580'
The trail goes left 10 yards on the road and then back in the
woods on the right.
12.1 ~ BURGESS POINT ~ FIRE TOWER (missing) ~ LC ~ 1870'
This is the highest peak in Section 5. You can't quite see the point
up to your left. A few feet before you get to the 12.2 ~ FS 600
Crossing, there is an old grown up road bed on your left that
goes up to the Point. It is a pretty tough 0.4 mile trek up to the
old fire tower site.
LC ~ At the tower site, there is a fire ring inside the 4 concrete
corner blocks where the tower was and some level grassy tent
HISTORY ~ Connie Roberson, who is a state employee
(now retired) at Cheaha State Park and old friend, grew up in the
community of Erin (ear-in), which is at the eastern base of
Burgess Point. She remembers when she was a little girl
(tomboy :) in the 60's, the tower was carried off by helicopter.
There are 360" very limited winter views here because of, yep,
trees. On the south side of the peak there is a 50' piled (as
opposed to stacked) rock wall that may have been an observation
deck and also some flat concrete "things" (cistern, spring house,
out house?). On the north side there is a 150' L shaped piled rock
wall that was possibly another deck or a trail or road border. Back
around the middle of the last century, FS 600, both north and
south of AL 77, was a popular travel destination for the locals.
The Bunker Tower at Cheaha and the Fire Towers on Horn
Mountain and Burgess Point were always packed with picnickers
after church on Sundays according to my Aunt Patty. Friday and
Saturday nights were pretty busy too but she didn't have much to
say about that...:)
HISTORY ~ Bob Pasquill, the USFS archeologist for Alabama,
recently told me that this 100' steel fire tower was flown to the top
of Dugger Mountain to replace a 30' wooden tower.
SUMMIT ~ Burgess Point ~ 1870' ~ #23 on the list of 100 highest
named summits in Alabama. The summit is up on your left.
12.2 ~ FS 600 CROSSING ~ 1750'
The trail goes right 10 yards on the road and then back in the
woods on the left.
WILDFLOWER ~ Huckleberry ~ White / April ~ Fruit / May
13.4 ~ PATTERSON SWITCHBACKS ~ DOWNHILL ~ 1550'
There are several good winter views of Cheaha Mountain to the
north, 13.6 trail miles away. There are also several views of a new
3 story house that was built up on the first peak north of you in
13.5 ~ PATTERSON GAP ~ 1460'
The trail goes right 10 feet on a good gravel road and then back
in the woods on the left (poorly blazed 2004). There are a lot of
tricky little downhill switchbacks ahead. The trail is not obvious
and neither are the blazes.
UPDATE 2004 ~ There are more silver metal diamonds in the
switchbacks now and it is much better.
UPDATE 2006 ~ The metal diamonds have been replaced with
13.8 ~ CAMPSITE ~ SC, SW ~ 1380'
Hmmm... you’ll need some really tough tent stakes!! Great
SW ~ Continue north on the trail 0.1 miles to the Double Spring.
13.9 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ LC, SW ~ 1260'
There is a steep 20' high hump between the two springs and some
flat spots, just past the second crossing, with 2 fire rings. Keep an
eye out for the uphill switchbacks just ahead.
WILDFLOWER ~ Mountain Laurel ~ White ~ May
14.0 ~ SWITCHBACKS ~ 1280'
The first turn is to the right.
14.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW ~ 1320'
14.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW ~ 1340'
WILDFLOWER ~ Oak leaf Hydrangia
(Alabama State Wildflower) ~ White ~ May
15.3 ~ SKYWAY LOOP TRAIL ~ LC, SW, RW ~ 1400'
When you get to the sign board, the Pinhoti goes to the right.
SW ~ Go left on the Skyway Loop Trail 0.1 miles to a good size
LC, RW ~ Go left on the Skyway Loop Trail 0.8 miles to several
large campsites beside Barbaree Creek.
The SLT continues on past the campsite for another 4.3 miles to
the Chinnabee Silent Trail, where you can turn left and go to
the Lake Chinnabee Campground, which is open from April 15 to
UPDATE 2013 ~ A big rain washed out the lake Chinnabee
Campground (and the campers too!!) and has been closed. All of
the trails at Lake Chinnabee remain open to the public.
FACEBOOK POST BY BRIAN ANDREWS ~ Clay County
Rescue Squad ~ I'm pretty sure it was 18 May 2013. I know the
month and year is correct. I was there. 19 campers were flooded
out, rescued, and taken to Cheaha State Park restaurant to warm,
wait, and make calls. One vehicle with two occupants were
involved but escaped. The roadway was appx 4 ft under water.
It remains closed to overnight campers to this day.
NEXT RW ~ 11.7 miles This is the last reliable water source until
you reach Cheaha State Park at mile 79.3.
HISTORY ~ Along the way down to the creek, you will pass a
standing chimney on the right, which was once part of a Civilian
Conservation Corps built Park Cabin. The CCC had a
workers-camp near here and did a lot of rock work within a
10-mile radius of Cheaha State Park from 1933 until the park
opened in 1939.
15.5 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD ~ AL 281 ~ 1457'
The trail comes out at the trailhead parking area on AL 281.
NORTHERN TERMINUS / FINISH HIKE