Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pine Mountain Trail

    So, like I mentioned in my first post, I want to review trails and inform people of what to look for on these trails.  My main training trail that I run on is the Pine Mountain Trail that runs through the Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park.  Absolutely beautiful place!  I love it.  If I could spend everyday there I absolutely would.
    I think I first heard of Pine Mtn. a few years ago, but I didn't believe that in this area of Georgia there could be a trail worthy of being considered a "real hiking trail."  What a silly way to think right?  Everyday I drive from Pike Co. to Columbus to go to work, and every day I am amazed at how the terrain in the Warm Springs/Manchester area is so vastly different than all the terrain literally just a few miles down the road.  I drive along normal flat middle Georgia roads and then bam! I'm all of a sudden driving through beautiful rolling hills and farm land that look like they were cut and pasted out of North Georgia.  I love driving through there with first timers.  They always oooh and ahh.  But I digress.
     So I want this to be a first in a serious of posts on the different sections of the PMT(I will use this abreviation from now on). 
    On today's run I wanted to complete a loop that I failed on my first attempt due to "bonking" or "hitting a runners wall."  I parked at Rocky Point parking lot and started from mile marker 18 of the PMT.  The last time I ran this section I started it at 6 am running with a head lamp.  So seeing it in the day time was nice.  My planned trip was to run from mile 18 up Hornets Knob, up Dowdell Knob(highest point of the PMT), down to the 12 mile marker, turning around and back tracking to just past the 13 mile marker to the Boottop Trail which links back up at the top of Hornets Knob, and then back to the car.  Total= 10.09 miles. 
This is right inside the first half mile.  A lot of these pics are of how technical PMT is.

More of the rockiness.

Looking up Hornets Knob

A vertical section climbing Hornets Knob

On top of Hornets Knob. Looking across The valley is where White Candle trail is.

Langford Creek

The beginning steps to Brown Dog Bluff which is also the beginning ascent to Dowdell Knob. All the gold leafed trees you see are called Georgia Oak.  Apparently they are rare, but grow all along PMT.

FDR himself.  At the top of Dowdell Knob.  FDR used to come to this spot and picnic and enjoy the view that Dowdell Knob offers.  Can't say I blame him.

Views from Dowdell Knob

Trying to show up close how technical this trail is.  Covered in roots and rocks.

This was my turn around point.

One more view of Rocky Point on my return to the beginning.

My feet!  Back at my car.  These are Salomon XA Comp 5 gtx.  I'll be doing a review on these at a later time.

    All in all a great day.  My total run time was very slow because of all the stopping I was doing taking pictures.  This was my first outing.  Hopefully I will become more proficient. 
    I absolutely love running on PMT.  If you just love camping and hiking, then this is also the place.  Tons of camp sites.  If you camp with an RV, there is a camp site for those too!  You can't go wrong with FDR State Park.  I will have more information on the rest of the trail sections I run soon.  So stay tuned!!

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