Saturday November 8th was a perfect fall day on Hickory Nut Mountain as six Traildogs met at the Trailhead for some trail maintenance. We had four certified sawyers, myself, Jay Marsh, Dan Watson, and Al Gathright, along with Chuck Dumas with his trusty weed trimmer, and Mike Curran with his historic one man four foot hand saw.
Our first order of business was to install the new trailhead sign furnished by the US Forest Service. It took a bit of digging in the stone-infested ground, but we finally concreted in the 6 X 6 post and sign just to the left of the Trailhead map sign.
We also cleared all the downed trees and limb debris from the campground located adjacent to the Trailhead. There were two overnight campers in the campground, but the tents’ inhabitants were out taking advantage of the perfect fall weather to enjoy the Trail .
While we working, a group of mountain bikers from the Springdale area came through on their way to the Avery Trailhead some thirty miles east. We visited, and they shared that they had met a hunter in the valley between Hickory Nut Mountain and Broken Rock Mountain who had just harvested nice buck. He thanked the riders for flushing the buck, which came charging down the Trail about ten minutes ahead of the riders. It appears we can share the bounty of the Trail in harmony.
We then attacked the spur up to the old fire tower site. There were many down trees and much debris, along with a thick growth of weeds along this 800 foot spur. We were able to clear the Trial up to the site, but we lacked the proper equipment to completely clear the historic site itself. We cleared around the foundation of the “watchers cabin” and around his old “stone food cooler” nearby, but we will need some new brush clearing equipment to complete the job. Another day!
As we returned from the tower site, we were engulfed in visitors to the Trailhead. A group of about twenty mountain bikers from the Tyler, Texas area, and also a separate group of site seeing folks, also from Texas who arrived in two vans, were all taking in the views of fall color from the peak.