Sunday, October 21, 2012

Duncan Ridge via the Coosa Trail

The next trail on my list is the Duncan Ridge Trail, considered the "toughest trail in Georgia."  I accessed the DRT via the 13 mile Coosa Backcountry Trail, which might sound totally inefficient, but that's just the type of thing I like to do.

After getting my permit at the visitor's center at Vogel State Park, I hiked clockwise on the Coosa Backcountry Trail, which shares tread with the Duncan Ridge Trail for three miles over Slaughter Mountain.   After spending so much time on the Bartram Trail wondering where all the people were, I can now report that all the people (or at least quite a bit of them) are at Vogel State Park. 

At the point where the DRT and Coosa Trail split, I took a little out-and-back trip on section 2 of the DRT.  I passed over Coosa Bald, descended to Whiteoak Stomp, and hiked for another hour, then turned around and returned to the Coosa Trail.  Not sure how far I got on the DRT but I'll find that out when I do the next section from the other trailhead.  Again, this was an unconventional way to tackle the DRT, but it allowed me to do the entire Coosa too.

Continuing on the Coosa Trail clockwise, I reached the end of the trail in early evening.  I hadn't expected to make it so far, and in retrospect I should have spent more time on the DRT, or at least not carried my full backpack the whole way.  I had to head back up the trail to find a stealth campsite, rather than camp near the trailhead. 

The next morning, I circled the Lake Trail, swung by the falls, then drove over to Yonah Mountain to scout that for a Trail Dames trip I'll help lead next month.  All in all my legs were sore by the end of the weekend, so it was a successful trip.

Lake Trail at Vogel State Park

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like great hiking! People, no people---I like a happy medium. It was strange to walk for days and days without seeing other hikers on the Florida Trail, particularly when we made camp at night and not having a packed 'house'. We got so used to it that when we did have to share a campsite with a group further north it was kind of annoying.

    The photo is breathtaking....!