Trailhead 11 to Mile 86
March 23, 2019
What a fiasco we had last night trying to find somewhere to camp. The Hunter’s Camp that we planned on staying at was surrounded by fire (prescribed burn) although oddly they did not have it closed off. Jerry, however, being a firefighter would not allow us to stay there for safety reasons. So we ended up getting a hotel room in Cleveland (do not recommend).
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express (our normal choice) and what a bad idea. The room had the
Anyway, we made it to the Trailhead and started the longest of 2 days not exactly sure where we were going to end as there was no real good spot for a pickup.
This past week I decided to change out my pack for the Osprey Eja 58 to see if it would work better for me as my other pack ended up hurting after a day of hiking. Anyway, so I loaded it down with my AT weight (all gear, food, and water) and came to a total weight of 29 pounds. It felt great until about 8 miles in when my right shoulder started killing me (I decided to repack it differently the next day which solved the issue).
The trail was enjoyable today, it goes right past a campground and lake where you can fill up on water either via the lake or further into the campground at the taps.
I did, however, eat a lot of spiders and cobwebs today thanks to me leading the way. Clayton usually takes care of it, but he had to hike with me due to not knowing where we would end the day.
We crossed a road where a bridge had been washed out at some point. Oddly enough, it took me a minute to figure out what I was looking at lol.
We ran into a muddy section (the first of this section) at about mile 75 that lasted for roughly half a mile.
Once we entered into the Big Creek Scenic area we ran into lots of beautiful scenery and bugs and plants. It was glorious, but we did run into a lot of mud!
Once we got into the next section (Tarkington) the trail was mostly dry and we ran into very few mud spots.
We decided to exit the trail via an ATV road that dumped out into a Forest Service Road around mile 86. From there we drove to the Shell Oil Rd Hunter’s Camp. Definitely, DO NOT recommend this camp. It is so trashy (trash everywhere) and so much traffic on the road all night long.
We did, however, make a friend this evening.
For those wondering about the camo tent in the video we were using this night and where to get it; all you need to do is enlist into the Army and you too can have your own 10
I have no idea why my husband felt the need to use this tent (we have a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 that we use when we backpack together and I use the Nemo Hornet 2P when backpacking alone). Maybe for nostalgic purposes (he retires this December after 25 years of service).
Trail Condition: Hard compacted trail, not much mud until you get in the Big Creek Scenic Area. The Tarkington section was nice (very little mud).
Camping: Around Mile 75 you will come to a developed campground (need to reserve your spot). Mile 75.5 there is a hiker’s camp shortly after passing a reliable water source. There are no camping spots (nor are you allowed to camp in the Big Creek Scenic Area) again until Mile 83.5 at
Water: About a mile from the trailhead there is a good water source. Mile 75.5 is another reliable water source right before a hiker’s camp. A large creek runs through most of the Big Creek Section (hence the name probably). Shortly past mile 79 is another good water source before you get to Trailhead 12. Around mile 84 is the next reliable water source. The map shows there is a pond at (or around) mile 85 however we could not locate it. Around Mile 85.5 there is a reliable water source in a creek.