Go back with Megan! Barkley marathon start gate is next to campsite #12 at Big Cove campground.

on Spicewood Branch Trail

hiking
over grown
7 days ago

There is one stretch that will kick your tail! But it’s probably only .25 mile long. Other than that, beautiful meandering on a ridge makes up for the butt-kicker part. I’m so happy we went.

A good but not great hike. Up hill all the way at a pretty constant, slow grade. A lot of dried up creeks intersecting paths that provide very interesting rock formations! We took a lunch break at a camp site just before the junction where north old Mac meets south old Mac and spine wood. The view was not too great at the top of the fire tower due to the tree line but got some good pictures of the valley on the side where Warburg is. Coming down, it was very rocky but some places to stop and take breaks frequently.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
26 days ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful 4 hour walk. Be sure to check out the view from a rock outcrop at the North Old Mac campsite near the Panther Gap trail junction.

Went up the north and down the south. Beautiful. Lots of running water. Saw 20 other hikers so good social distance. 8 miles on the dot.

hiking
1 month ago

As of April 24th, the park is open. We followed the directions to the trailhead given on AllTrails. It is not precise. Park in area c. The trail starts to the right of the restrooms. The “Spicewood Branch Trail” listed on this webpage is actually a combination of the Old Mac Trail, Spicewood Trail, South Old MAC Trail and Judge Branch trail. We followed the loop downloaded on this app. It says that the hike is 7.2 miles. According to our step counters, the trail is actually 20,768 steps. Also, the park guide ranks the Spicewood portion of the trail as “difficult “, which it certainly was in parts. There is NOT “a waterfall” on this route. There are literally dozens of small run-offs (I.e. numerous mini falls). At the end of April, after a wet spring, the falls were abundant and breathtaking. Nearly every falls involved a creek crossing. They were small yet sometimes slippery and often it was impossible to cross without getting wet or muddy. Closed toed shoes are essential. Additionally, a large portion of the hike involved walking in dry and sometimes wet/flowing creek beds. Hiking poles were an asset. The wildflowers were abundant this time of year.

hiking
muddy
over grown
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
2 months ago

Great trail. I’d recommend going up on the north and down on the south. 1900 elevation rise. Great time

The last section going up the creek is an add on. There's no bridge at the upper end, so if the water is up and you want to keep your feet dry, take the bridge just downstream of the trail junction. Otherwise the cove that the trail goes up into is very pretty, so it's a nice add on.

Chimney Top trail was a good hike through the woods. West Lookout Tower wasn't terrible but just rocky dirt access road.

Great trail! Very rocky and lots of roots in the way down South Old Mac.

trail was fun but a bit too difficult for us. next time we'll try in nicer conditions

hiking
flooded
icy
muddy
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

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