I’ve never seen such a confusing map (white paths on white paper? dark blue segment that had road indicators underneath). There are multiple orange trails. And we were looking for pink blazes (Rocktown trail). We parked at the wrong location (Hood Overlook but lovely views) and found blue blazes.
The description of the path was not syncing up with the terrain we were covering. We (myself & “Tart”) ended up walking along the road and finally found the Rocktown trailhead signs.
BTW: Parking at the trailhead is at a premium, folks were parking on side of road quite a way up road to trailhead – car tags from GA, TN, TX, AL, LA, FL…. Over 30 cars there as we left.
Enough of the ranting & confusion. Scoop on Rocktown:
Trail was not challenging. Muddy/squishy in some sections leading toward the rocks. The formations were spectacular. Supposedly, 200 million years ago, Lookout & Pigeon Mountains were underwater. The soft rocks were washed away but left these formations. It was amazing to imagine that – but you can see evidence of ‘pooling’ in the rocks.
I’ll let the pics speak for themselves:
Rock formations that reminded me of something:
Rock formations with cool textures:
We got distracted and off trail, going from formation to formation. I’m not sure we even made it to the end of the trail. When we were ready to head back, it took us a while to get back on the PINK trail. We were going to connect with the orange trail (per the map), but we never found the marker. We hoofed a total of 7.3 miles. A good portion of it was on roads, but some nice views of the mountains. Not a lot of incline – elevation gain of less than 300 feet – and that was due to being on the road (not the trail itself).
We encountered A LOT of rock climbers. It was somewhat invasive – dodging their mattresses, dogs, gear; some were playing loud music. We encountered very few people who were hikers and not rock climbers. I get it’s a cool place and a great place to climb, but we all gotta enjoy it.
There is no camping at Rocktown, but we noticed a number of people heading in (with rock climbing gear) as we were heading out at 3:30. It gets dark at 5:30ish – not sure if there was some special permissions to remain after dark as a group. I didn’t see lighting or camping equipment.
There are no restrooms, port-a-potties, etc at all in the park. No vending, water. Bring your own water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, trash bags. No trash cans, so haul it out.
Make sure you have your “GORP Pass” – effective 1/2012. You can order online or get it at many Walmarts & Sports Authorities. Here’s a link: http://goo.gl/XhRnu
Here’s the Crockford Pigeon Mountain WMA map: http://goo.gl/m4nhA
I’ll track down the link to the (confusing) directions & offer commentary.
Here’s a link to Google Maps of our hike: http://g.co/maps/fxgv9