Trail report from Dame Sandi Adams.....
Total distance: 4.6 miles
Parking lot Lead Trail: .46
West Loop : 2.12
East Loop: 1.54
Quarry Trail .03
After a friend at work told me about this trail, I put it on my short list for spontaneous hiking.(Also while searching for information about this trail, I read of a stray nude hiker that appears on it but this did not in any way influence my decision….) Friday morning started cool compared to the inferno heat we have been having so David and I packed it up and headed off to try it out.
Pine Log Creek Trail is located in Bartow County only 25 miles from our doorstep. We arrived early to an empty parking area, strapped on the pack and after viewing the faded out map posted, took off to the sounds of birds chattering and a neighboring rooster going crazy. Shortly after crossing a dry creek bed we came to a cool running bend in the creek with a beautifully built wooden bridge crossing. There are actually seven rustic footbridges over Pine Log Creek throughout the well maintained 5 mile hike. The trail includes two loops east and west and a short side trail to an old CCC quarry pond.
We opted to take the east loop first which took us over the creek and through a series of switchbacks to peaks of views of Pine Log Mountain. (Winter will be spectacular!) This trail overlooks a pastoral valley that was once home to the Cherokee village of Pine Log before the native people’s removal west on the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. There are numerous large rock croppings and boulders. The black eyed susans, several varieties of fern,( some HUGE), many giant very old trees along with the winding creek made this a very diverse beautiful trail. We saw traces of the stormy Spring in the form of someones chicken house roof scattered throughout the forest and brush.
The jewel of the trip was located a short distance off the trail in the form of an old quarry pond. David quickly identified several large mouth bass, brim and a stray catfish in the clear water vowing to bring a fishing pole the next trip. (NOTE: There is a large sign that prohibits fishing and overnight camping at the trail head) This was a peaceful beautiful treat and great spot for a lunch or a quick swim.
After exploring the quarry we picked the trail back up and came to the west loop junction continuing over the creek and up the ridge for more views. We took a short stop to hang my hammock for David to tryout and discovered a little box turtle who watching our efforts. One thing to be aware of with this trail is someone has removed the trail loop signs. The posts are there but no signs. We found ourselves taking the east loop again before catching our mistake.
We ended our hike by cooling our feet and wading in the creek under the entry bridge. We both commented that it reminded us of childhood locations where we were free to play and explore. The only “excitement” of the trip came while we were drying off and observed a snake drop off the bank and swim right into the area we had been in. Of course I identified it as a copperhead or water moccasin but really think it was a red rat snake…
This trail is most definitely a jewel and will be on our list of backyard favorites.
Difficulty: Moderate-Some parts are listed as strenuous but not really
from I-575 in Canton: Take Riverstone Pkwy exit 20, head West for about .5 mi. Take right onto Reinhardt College Pkwy and continue until it dead ends into Hwy 140. Take right onto Hwy 140 W (still also Reinhardt College Pkwy) and go approximately 12 miles. Trail head will be on your right.
From I-75 in Cartersville: Take exit 293 and head North on Hwy 411 for about 7.5 mi. Take a right onto Hwy 140 East and go about 3.2 mi, trail head will be on your left.