Photos of Rich Mountain Trail

DISTANCE
13.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,729 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

forest

hiking
12 days ago

Trip Report for Rich, Tickanetley and Big Bald. Pre-hiked part of this trip, from the gate just off Rock Creek Rd and Rich Mountain Road. Rich Mtn Road is a single lane jeep trail and I wanted to make sure I could find a place to pull off the road further up. I've been told the gate closed in the Winter. It was open yesterday and today. I drove 2.6 miles up the mountain and parked. I believe most any car could have gone as far as I did or further. I did this a little different than the other reports I've read. I hiked the jeep trail around and to the north of Big Bald (by passing it). Where the ridgeline off Rich met the trail I left the trail and hiked Rich (found the chimney and the base of the old lookout tower). then I hiked north toward Tickanetly (bushwhacked until I met the old unmaintained road and used that road to the summit of Tickanetley. This old road narrows down to a herd path but is visible and can be followed fairly easy. I reversed path and headed back to Rich. At the point where I had originally got on this old road I continued using it rather than hiking back over Rich. This old road leads around Rich to the West and eventually rejoins the one lane jeep trail (maintain FS road I presume). When I reached Little Bald Mountain I left the road again and headed up the more gradual southwest ridge to Big Bald. Unlike ALL the other mtns called "bald" (which are anything but bald) this one is clearly bald. There is a huge open spot at about 4000 feet and this was apparently and Indian encampment. Signs are posted in a couple different spots asking visitors to respect this area and any antiquities you may encounter. I continued up Big Bald and came down the ridge that leads to Horsepen Gap and hiked the jeep trail back to my truck. Total distance was 10.56 miles, time was 4:45:32, elevation gain was 2,668 (Apple Watch). Only the briers on the eastern side of Big Bald (near the summit) posed a problem and I ranged slight north of them to cleared terrian. Do this hike BEFORE the gate closes or add 5.2 miles to my total.