25 forum posts
Been a lurker here for some time and thought I would contribute. Needed a leg stretch and break from the bama heat so went up to what I have considered for years as my home mountains........albeit they are 4.5 hrs away. I had never hiked the Brush mt trail before so I decided to rough the summer brush and give it a go.
Left out of Rattlesnake Rock Friday ~2PM and make my way to the South Fork Citico and downstream. Set up for the night just shy of Ike Branch on river left of SF of Citico. The next day made my way downstream to the crossing and began my way up hill. The part of the trail that follows the creek was good to go and not so hard to follow for the most part. No real blowdown problems that I remember. Once topped out and make the right turn....up hill...then down to the spring/creek crossing atop the mountain. From there I climbed up then back down to a broad gap area that was REALLY overgrown and it was here that I had to take the pack off the first time to look for the trail. My gut said it was straight ahead and up the hill but you know how you second guess your self at times. I could not see any blazes in any dirction and walked around for a few minutes. It appeared that others had lost the trail here as well due to faint trails to the left and right. There was a campsite here with an old pot someone had left that was big enough for 8 ears of corn. Soon I found my way strait accross as my initial gut instinct had said. I then saw the dayglo tape around a tree. This spot may be better in the winter/spring but with the brush up 4-5 ft it was hard to follow. Once the trail climbed up towards the next ridge and veered leftit became very faint again and as it followed the slope below the ridge there were several blowdowns that made the going tough along with the 5 foot weeds. It went though. There was marker tape in this area if you looked hard enough (thanks whoever left it) and it was useful. One other area near a hilltop covered in Rhodo/Doghobble was super overgrown and had to be pushed through with force.......this was 1/4 mile or a little more before the junction with the trail to upper NF citico and trail to gap. Was happy to reach it and the going was easy to the intersection of the gap. Thought about heading up to the Bob for the night but was worn out and headed down the SF trail to what I call the flower pot camp(old iron caldon). Spent a noisy night of snoring and headed up the hill to rattlesnake rock Sunday. It was a good leg stretch and break from our hades style heat here.
The brush/brambles were high and the ticks were out in numbers. I think the Brush Mt. trail would be easier to follow and on the Psyche in the winter. Thought I would give an update in case any one was heading that way. I will be back in the winter to try and help stamp down a legible trail trough there. Didnt see any one else all week end on the trail but did spot some folks camped near the SF Citico and Ike Branch confluence......but they didnt spot me as I came through.
I really liked the Brush Mt trail and hope to be back but wish it was somewhat more easy to follow. I guess that takes people using it and I like it because it is not used much at all........oh well. Catch-22.