Showing posts from January, 2019

Big Hill Pond State Park

In January 2019 I went for a hike in Big Hill Pond State Park, located in southwestern Tennessee just north of the Mississippi border. The park has nearly 30 miles of hiking trails, 14 miles of which are also open to horses and mountain bikes, as well as a reservoir (Travis McNatt Lake), campground, backcountry campsites, observation tower, and historic sites. (park map)

My hike totaled 8.4 miles over nearly 3 hours with a total of 682 feet of elevation gain and began at the boat launch on Travis McNatt Lake. I began by hiking counterclockwise around the lake on the Dry Ridge Trail, which passes around the northern and western side of the lake. From the boat launch the trail closely follows the lakeshore for 0.65 mi before crossing the stream and wetlands at the north side of the lake.

From there the Dry Ridge Trail makes a short climb above the lake and goes up and down three small hills and valleys over 1.35 mi. Over this section of the trail there were some muddy sections in the va…

Davis Bridge Battlefield

Davis Bridge Battlefield (also known as the Battle of Hatchie's Bridge) is a historic site in southwestern Tennessee that was the site of a Civil War battle on October 5, 1862.

Today there are two areas of the battlefield open to the public. The first is an observation area along Pocahontas Road on Metamora Hill that served a the Union line. There is a parking area and and some interpretive signs on the hill.

The second site is directly west of and down the hill from the previous site along Essary Springs Road and part of Shiloh National Military Park. This area has a parking area, a gate blocking the old road (which is now a trail) and a sign at the entrance.

The trail is about one-third of a mile (one way) to the end of the trail (plus one-third of a mile back), with basically no change in elevation. The trail follows was used to be the road through the forest to the site of the bridge across the Hatchie River. There is one interpretive sign near the start of the trail and anoth…

Baker's Pond Trail in Holly Springs National Forest

Baker's Pond, located in Holly Springs National Forest in northern Mississippi, is a spring-fed pond that is the source of the Wolf River. There is (as of January 2019) a ~0.5 mile (one-way) trail that gains about 150 feet of elevation (round trip) to the lake.

The trail starts at a trailhead not far off the south side of U.S. Highway 72. Accessing the trailhead requires driving down a well-maintained dirt road that is passable in any vehicle. There is small parking area at the trailhead, as well as a sign mentioning the importance of restoring the forest.

The trail was originally about a 2.5 mile loop that appears to have followed the road at some point according to this U.S. Forest Service map. However, in December 2015 an EF-4 tornado passed through the area just south of the pond and completely destroyed all of the forest in its path. Since that time the trail has been an out-and-back trail that ends on the south side of Baker's Pond.

The trail itself is an easy walk that …