Flat. Water questionable

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User: rmtjr - 3/15/2006

Location: 4-C Hiking Trail

Rating: 2stars
Difficulty: 1star  Solitude: 2stars
Miles Hiked: 37.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A

Comments: I hiked about 37 miles on the 4C trail on Mar 13-15, 2006. The trail: Well marked. No problem following it in daylight. The northern end is different from the southern end. The northern half has more elevation changes because of the overlook. It seems more open, especially with the almost mile walk along a power line right-of-way below the bluff. Both the north and south ends could be swampy in places when there is rain. Fortunately these places are well bridged. Trying to locate myself precisely based on the trail track on the maps and relating that to the ground was hit and miss for me. Water: There is no potable water on the trail! I thought that I would use my MIOXX purifier to take care of water needs along the trail, but with only a couple of exceptions, I was suspicious of even trying to purify the water that I found. It wasn’t the brown color in the water from the pine tree tannin. The problem was stagnation in this drought season. Mileage markers: I saw mileage markers 1-4 on Monday. I think there were relatively accurately placed. I didn’t see another marker until Tuesday when I was returning from Walnut Creek Camp. This was mile post 8. I think it was too far north. I passed it an hour south of Walnut Creek Camp. That would mean that I’d traveled two miles an hour. I seriously doubt that I did that. On Wednesday I saw mile marker 12 and it was only a couple of hours for me south of the northern trail head. I know it was out of place. That would have meant I’d traveled 7+ miles from the trailhead in about two hours and I only do that in my dreams. I saw the number 13 marker Wednesday night, but I’m not sure where that was. Note: Both Mickey Little’s book and the USFS’ brochure show a primitive camping site at Walnut Creek Camp. There is a shelter and a privy here. Mickey Little’s book shows a primitive camp site at Pond Camp. The USFS’ broacher reports a shelter at Pond Camp. There is no shelter or privy at Pond Camp! The privy at Walnut Creek Camp was in sad shape. Hunters had blasted holes in the commode itself and the privy area was not much better than a trash dump. The shelter was in good shape. There were 5-6 level tent sites around the shelter. Pond Camp was just an open area frequented by hunters with the usual amount of trash that they leave. The northern trailhead is primitive. There are no improvements. There is space to camp, but I recommend protecting your campsite by placing your vehicle between your tent and the natural path for vehicles to follow. A couple of good ol’ boys were screaming down the forest roads in their pickup trucks as I was thinking about setting up camp at the northern trail head. I decided that with those kinds of folks in the area, I’d camp at the rec area and just park my car at the northern trailhead. There is secure trailhead parking at the Ratcliff Rec Area for $3.00/night.

Area around 4-C Hiking Trail
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