23 days ago

Hiked this trail today and found that the work we all did a few weeks ago clearing out up to Hemptop was well worth it and the trail looked great. From Hemptop to Double Spring Gap was an even grade down slope. Was surprised at the preponderance of mature eastern white pine at Double Spring Gap. It is clear that the western spring is more reliable and I would expect it to be reliable even during drought. The steep trail up to Licklog Ridge is pure brutality. On top of the gradient, the eroded shale treadway made for difficult traction. Once past Licklog Trail I was again struck by the size of the black cherries in this area up to Big Frog Mountain. Note that there is a good spring right to the west, immediately below the top. Unfortunately, no good late summer views from Big Frog, but did chill out and munch on some wild hawthorn berries, like I do. Needless to say the track back south was substantially tempered by the earlier saga of going up, and made the long climb back up Hemptop fairly relaxed. I have come to feel that the Cohuttas will be amazing if allowed to continue to grow undisturbed for the next 50 years or so. In the meantime I just have to imagine what that will look like and continue to explore.