Long Trails of the Southeast
by Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Johnny Molloy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
I drove down today planing to hike the whole trail. Got there and i thought, this is going to be great. the parking area was really nice and well kept with pic nic tables and even a rest room. I got loaded up and hit the trail. After about 15 minutes of fighting fallen trees and chest high weeds I said forget this. It didn't even look like anyone had walked this part of the trail in a long long time. I know i was on the right trail too because I could see the occasional white diamond trail markers..my camera battery was dead so i did get to take any pictures. Some one please tell me that the whole thing is not that way. May try again in late late fall when the weeds and tall grass have died down... left there and headed down to Tuxachanie instead.
Trail is swampy in places--lots of deadfall but still passable. Well marked.
Mosquitoes are as big as quarters so take bug spray! The trail is VERY much over grown with grass, weeds, vines, and wild blackberries. The trail has not been cleared is some time so wear pants so the thorns do not hurt your legs. There is no path to the creek from point 10 on the map to Janice Landing. If you choose to make your own path, take cutters (it can be done). We did cut a path to the creek but is was VERY hard and we were both worn out! Next time, we will canoe - no more hiking that trail for this girl! (Pix at trail-traveler.com)
does anyone know if the trail has been cleared at all or any better since march of 2007. I am trying to plan an overnighter and based on the last review i am going to plan it somewhere else if that is still the case..
Drove over from New Orleans with a buddy intending to do a fast, there-and-back one nighter. Both of have many 1-5 night hikes under our belt; we are healthy active 20 somethings. March 2007. At the trailhead there is no mention of any trail damage or debris from Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, not even 1/2 an hour into the trail it becomes apparent that little trail maintenance has been done since the storm. After becoming seriously lost because the trail blazes are non-existant, we grew more wary. Someone has gone thru and marked the trail with pink ribbon as most of the blazes are on trees which the storm felled. Unfortunately, you can only go 10 minutes at best before you are blocked by heavy trees fallen, requiring 15 minute detours or climbs to pass. We persevered thru lunch, having only made ~3 miles in as many hours. We finally gave up though when we bush-whacked through another fallen debris mess to find a forest service posting that the bridge ahead was out and the trail impassable. The forest is thick with underbrush and debris, so any sort of detour would have been difficult and required better maps than we had. We went back to the Fairley Bridge Trailhead and set up camp and had a leisurely afternoon and night. The trailhead is quite nice, right next to the Black Creek it is also a canoe put in, so you do get people driving up throughout the day (we only saw three, but it was a Thursday, I imagine weekend traffic is more). We drove up to the Janice Landing trailhead the next morning to see if it was any better there. Got in 5 minutes and hit a huge fallen tree and storm debris. Gave up and decided to have lunch in Gulfport. First time we've ever had to give up on a trail.
Bottom line: The trail is impassable due to storm damage. Fallen trees, inadequate blazing, and bridges still out as of March 2007.
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