Pinhoti Trail Cleburne to Coleman Lake

Heflin, Alabama

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This trail segment was my introduction to the Pinhoti Trail many years ago. Here, the Pinhoti leaves the Cleburne trailhead and works along a ridgeline over Brymer Mountain, toward the streams and lakes of the Shoal Creek watershed. Reach the Lower Shoal trail shelter in an attractive wooded flat where two creeks converge. The path temporarily leaves the water, only to follow the larger stream near spacious meadow-like wildlife clearings and through rich beech bottoms. Meet quiet Highrock Lake before arriving at the campground of Pine Glen Recreation Area. From here, the Pinhoti heads upstream along Shoal Creek, which offers first-rate bass fishing among its pools and rapids. The fishing is also good at Sweetwater Lake, where Shoal Creek is dammed. The path continues up Shoal Creek and makes Laurel trail shelter. Beyond this shelter, the Pinhoti winds over low hills to reach historic Shoal Creek Church, built from hand-hewn logs in the 1800s. North of the church, the Pinhoti circles Coleman Lake, the final damming of Shoal Creek. Finally, the path climbs through pine-wiregrass woods to reach the Coleman Lake trailhead.

Pinhoti Trail: Cleburne to Coleman Lake Professional Review and Guide

"This trail segment was my introduction to the Pinhoti Trail many years ago. Here, the Pinhoti leaves the Cleburne trailhead and works along a ridgeline over Brymer Mountain, toward the streams and lakes of the Shoal Creek watershed. Reach the Lower Shoal trail shelter in an attractive wooded flat where two creeks converge. The path temporarily leaves the water, only to follow the larger stream near spacious meadow-like wildlife clearings and through rich beech bottoms. Meet quiet Highrock Lake before arriving at the campground of Pine Glen Recreation Area.

From here, the Pinhoti heads upstream along Shoal Creek, which offers first-rate bass fishing among its pools and rapids. The fishing is also good at Sweetwater Lake, where Shoal Creek is dammed. The path continues up Shoal Creek and makes Laurel trail shelter. Beyond this shelter, the Pinhoti winds over low hills to reach historic Shoal Creek Church, built from hand-hewn logs in the 1800s. North of the church, the Pinhoti circles Coleman Lake, the final damming of Shoal Creek. Finally, the path climbs through pine-wiregrass woods to reach the Coleman Lake trailhead."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Heflin
Distance: 20.1
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Year-round; best during spring and fall, though all the water here makes summer more tolerable
Trailhead Elevation: 950 feet
Top Elevation: 1,210 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Pinhoti Trail: Cleburne to Coleman Lake

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May 2018