Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Armes Gap trail - Frozen Head State Park

I kind of invited myself on a hike with Pete, Lillian and Hix at Frozen Head State Park. I met up with them at the old Brushy Mountain State Prison and followed them up the mountain road to the Armes Gap trailhead. The 4 of us started climbing the old jeep road and took a spur trail on the left to the old prison mine. There are some small buildings still standing, the guard shack has a fence around it. The mine openings are gated. Very cool area to explore. Lillian told us about the history of the mines and how Brushy Mt Prison came to be built.

Back on the jeep road we kept climbing. A pickup truck came up behind us, it was a park Ranger. He didn't offer us a ride, just kept going. Before we got to the top of the mountain, he came back down and stopped to chat. He told us he had spotted a Canada Lily on the jeep road and gave us directions on where to find it. Lillian asked him about the old mining area and if they were going to include it as part of the history when they open the prison as a visitor center and museum. He agreed that it was a good idea. He gave us some info about an old home site on Hwy 62 that may be preserved by the Historical Society of Morgan County. He said good bye and we kept climbing.

When we got to Tub Spring we looked at all the trail junctions and decided to stay on the jeep road. We found one Canada Lily growing right by the side of the road just a little past all the junctions. We walked until it was lunch time and that was at the Coffin Spring trail junction. It looked overgrown, must not get much foot traffic. After lunch we started back the way we came. We took another short spur down to the Panther Branch Rockhouse. Heading back down the jeep road we found a lot of blackberries; that held us up for a while. Back at the trailhead, plans we made to meet up at Sonic in Wartburg. Turtle pecan Master Blast....yum!

After saying goodbye to everyone, I went back to the park and waded in the creek for a little while to cool off and get the dust off my feet. It was a beautiful day with 75 degrees for the high; a cool breeze, and good friends to hike with.


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