My first Prentice Cooper hike sucked. I thought I was doing the highly touted “Mullens Cove” trail after reading the reviews on Alltrails. I didn’t have a map due to “The Racoon Mountain Debacle”, but figured I had nailed Fiery Gizzard…
I parked in the Cumberland Trail lot and saw the trailmarker in the lot. I headed North / West. Over lots of rocks.
I noticed a lot of trees down from the tornado.Lots of walking in the woods. It was never-ending, no pretty views, interesting rock formations, pretty creeks, nada.
Path was easy enough to navigate, until I came to Haley Road… The trail didn’t pick up DIRECTLY across, one had to walk West just a smidge. Instead, I walked west (down, as in hill, the gravel road) for quite a ways. There’s a creek down there, lots of beer cans (in case you are the recycling type or need extra cash), an area where people have been camping (although technically not an approved camp area)… I was ready to quit. But as I was walking back, I discovered… (imagine angels singing) the small rock cairn noting the trail was picking up.
The Trail Marker on Haley Rd that I missed. I need DAYGLO NEON FLASHING TRAIL MARKERS!
My blisters were very displeased with the hike up and down gravel Haley Road. My feet were almost completely mummified in moleskin and bandages. I kept thinking that if I just go a little more, there’s GOT to be something truly fabulous ahead as the trail was heading south.
I kept telling myself that “just a little bit more” until I realized I would be pressing my luck to get back to the trailhead by dark. I turned around eventually and made it back to the trailhead. I realize now that I was pretty close to the “alternative approach” to Mullens Cove. You’ll have to read my actual trail review for Mullens Cove next.
For complete (novice) review, read my 10/09/11 review on Alltrails:
Map of TN River Gorge Segment including Prentice Cooper: http://goo.gl/Tx0r1