Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cherokee National Forest: Chuckey Mountain

I was given permission to go on a solo adventure this morning! I decided I would stay close to home and head over to Chuckey Mountain. The hike required me to drive on the Cedar Creek Caves Road and I was anxious to see if I could find the caves in reference. I made the drive to the trailhead and did not find any caves. Perhaps I would see them on the way back though.

The hike started on an old rough road. It was quite wet and muddy given all the recent rains. I just kept following the road until it petered out. At the point where it vanished I got a bit confused. I started bushwacking where I thought maybe a trail had been but gotten overgrown. I went in several different directions, but each time the vegetation got so thick that I decided to just turn around. Finally I gave up and started to head back to the car. It looked like my mission for the day, to summit Chuckey Mountain, would be a failure. At least I found some interesting wildflowers to look at.
thimbleberry
flower closeup
bunches of flowers
dogwood

Just when I had given up all hope on the return to the car, I saw a brown carsonite post for the trail.
Meadow Creek MT Trail
The mission was back on! I followed the well-defined trail up to the ridge and then I lost any resemblance of a trail.
forest boundary
If I wanted to stand on the summit of this mountain, it looked like I would have to do some bushwacking after all.

Of course I had worn shorts and so the bashing through the tangled brash was a little bit painful and made the going slow. After about 3/4 mile of ridgeline bushwacking I saw a small cylinder of concrete with the benchmark set in it.
Chuckey Mountain
I took a photo at the summit
on summit
and then retraced my steps back to the car. It was an uneventful return trip. I did, however, find some mushrooms alongside the trail.
two mushrooms
shroom
Once back to the car I drove the rest of the Cedar Creek Caves loop and did not find the caves.            

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a cave in the area. However the owner doesn't want anyone to go into it. Sad because the only people that respect that are cavers.