high traffic seasons.
You will find several high foot traffic sections on the Pinhoti, mainly during the spring and fall:
Cheaha Wilderness ~ Section 6
Cheaha State Park ~ Section 7
Pine Glen Campground ~ Section 10
Coleman Lake Campground ~ Section 10
winter: january / march.
Winter is a great time to be out. It is like flying over in a plane. You can get good views of the Appalachian's both in front and behind you and you can also watch our Sister Ridge (Alabama's Choccolocco Mountains) as she follows along from Mt. Cheaha up to Dugger Mountain. Night temps are mostly in the 30's and some 20's. Rain is possible anytime.
spring: april / may.
The Spring Flower Show starts around the end of March from one end of the trail to the other. Night's are mostly in the 40's and 50's. Be prepared for rain and the occasional tornado. Find a good flat "Weather Rock" to place outside of your shelter at night:
Dry Rock = No Rain, Wet Rock = Rain, Missing Rock = Tornado.
summer: june / september.
I guess the best time to be on the Pinhoti is NOT! (NOT!) summer. If you go out during the summer, the Chiggers and ticks will set upon you like the Plague!
fall: october / december.
The fall colors start on the smaller trees in late October and reach the larger trees in November. Most of the seldom hiked parts of the trail will be harder to follow because of the leaves on the ground, but not impossible. After a few good rains the trail bed will start to define itself again. Night temps are mostly in the 40's and 50's.
Let's start with a link to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, DCNR websites.
These are fairly technical websites that will (eventually :) answer any questions you may have about hunting dates and hunting areas, so please refer to the DCNR websites for specific hunting information. The DCNR creates all hunting rules and regulations and sets the dates for when hunting is permitted. Basically, there is a season for every animal, with few exceptions, and the dates are spread throughout the year.
The season hikers are most concerned with is deer season, which usually runs from the end of November to the end of January. The DCNR is also the issuing authority for a hunting license. This license allows hunting anywhere it is permitted, which is basically everywhere, with few exceptions.
So, the main purpose here is not to list when and where we can hike on the Pinhoti, or any other trail in the US, without rubbing shoulders with hunters because there is no such time and place, as you will (eventually :) glean from the DCNR website.
A large part of the hunting season is about interacting with other people in our woodland community. When we are out in the woods there are no hikers and there are no hunters, just people like us who truly love to be in the woods and are filled by the same awe and wonder of it all, for whatever reason.
If we raise a hand, smile and say hey, they will too. These are the same people you see in your neighborhood, at work and at the grocery store.
Also, hunters always wear something orange so people can see them through the trees and it would be nice if we returned the favor. Imagine being a hunter hearing something coming through the leaves from a long way off... they are in go mode...
pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
a 337.1 mile southern region appalachian trail connector
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the pta's busiest month to date ~ feb 2016 ~ 40,168 web hits
current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point ~ s14 - 7.3 ~ cave spring trailhead