Saturday, February 4, 2017
Cumberland Trail - Arch Mt. Section
Lora and I headed out the hike the Arch Mt. section of the Cumberland trail. We dropped off a car at Frozen Head State Park where the ranger told us the story of rescuing some backpackers the night before. They had gotten cold and couldn't get a fire started. It had gotten down to around 0 degrees.
We started the hour and a half journey over to Smoky Creek. We took the Southern route which traveled along 116, Shea Road, and then Smoky Creek Road. Lots of gravel and you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere.
After finding the parking lot we started with our crossing of Smoky Creek. Cold and wide! Soon afterwards we found that you are going to really have to pay attention to the blazes. This trail is in need of hikers and volunteers to do some clearing. We cleared as much as we could along the way, but it needs lots of feet on the trail and it is going to need some chain saws as well.
The trail travels through some very pretty areas along the creek. The water runs out as you climb to the ridge for the rest of the hike to Frozen Head. In the description at mile 5 heading South (8 if heading North), it is a little misleading. There is no water or camping area once you start climbing and you get above the creek.
We camped just above the spring for the creek up on the hill side. We got a good fire going, but the wind picked up and gave us a challenge dodging the smoke. We had to get up a couple of times to restake our tarps.
Once you are on the ridge there are a lot of views especially this time of year. It was a little hazy for our hike, but you could see a long ways.
This trail is quite strenuous.