Hikes in Bankhead NF, Jan. 31

Borden waterfall3

Photo by Brad Marston

Choose from two Wild South hikes in the Bankhead National Forest

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Warrior Mountains Trading Company

9:00 a.m.

Sign up at janice at wildsouth.org (advance registration required) Indicate which hike you want and include your phone number.  Group size is limited.

Grant Posey Photo by Barbara Crow

Montgomery Creek

Leaders:  Grant Posey and Kevin England

Distance:  4.5 miles (loop hike)

Challenge:  Moderately challenging (For hikers with some off-trail experience only)

Ages 12 and over

Montgomery Creek is located in the northern section of the Bankhead National Forest in the Borden Creek watershed.

Grant Posey will lead hikers to Montgomery Creek via a tributary from Alred hunter’s camp on Highway 33, and come out through Rat Poison Gap to the Cheatham Road Historical Marker.  Features of the area include a Bald Cypress stand, a cave with a gushing spring and interesting rock formations.  Botanist Kevin England will share his knowledge of flora along the route.

The hike is completely off-trail.  Be prepared with boots with ankle support and good soles. There will be boulders, rocks that can roll an ankle and tripping hazards hidden in the leaf litter, along a creek with small water falls and pools.  The hike out will be uphill on an old logging road that has dead falls and is heavily rutted from erosion.

Key Mill

Tim Davis Photo by Michelle Davis

Key Mill Branch   

This hike is full, but contact us to get on the wait list

Leaders:  Tim and Michelle Davis

Distance:  3.5 miles (through hike)

Challenge:

Moderately challenging:  (For hikers with some off-trail experience only)

Ages 12 and over

Key Mill Branch is located in the northeast portion of the Bankhead National Forest in the Brushy Creek watershed.

Tim Davis will lead the group in on the Owl Creek horse trail a short distance before leaving the trail and descending into the canyon.

The branch was the site of an operating mill till 1953, and some of the remains of the water wheel mechanism can still be seen there.  In 2007, a helicopter crashed on the ridge above the branch.  During times of normal winter rainfall, there are close to a dozen waterfalls.  There is a very large and unique sandstone bluff shelter and beautiful views.

The hike is mostly off-trail.  Be prepared with boots with ankle support and good soles. There will be boulders, rocks that can roll an ankle and tripping hazards hidden in the leaf litter.  The climb down into the canyon is steep and can be strenuous.  There will be some narrow, shallow creek crossings.

For both hikes:

Bring a backpack with lunch, snacks, drinking water.  These are extraordinarily scenic areas, so you’ll probably want your camera!  A walking stick may help with creek crossings and the uneven, rugged terrain.

Dress for the weather, in layers.  Bring rain gear if rain is forecast.  Keep an eye on the forecast.  We do not always cancel a hike because of rain, so be prepared!

After signing up, meet at the Warrior Mountains Trading Company at 11312 AL Hwy. 33, Moulton, AL at 9:00 a.m.  Park on the south end of the building and come into the store.  Meet your leaders at the Wild South picnic table toward the back of the store at 9:00.

DOGS ON WILD SOUTH HIKES:  Well-behaved, socialized, non-threatening dogs may come on Wild South hikes but must be leashed at all times.

Wild South hikes are free of charge because we want people to get out there and get to know their forest!  However, there will be a donation bucket on the picnic table.  All hiker donations directly support the work we do in the Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness.  Thank you for your support!

Come to our Wild Winter Warmer weekend, Jan. 23-24!

1 Comment

  1. Doug Hamilton on January 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

    If not full, please sign me up for the 31 Jan 2015 Montgomery Creek.

    Thanks

    Doug