Cherokee County Highpoint Trip Report

Flagpole Mtn

Date: January 14, 2008
Author: Edward Earl

Mike Beavers's road directions are fine. I would like to supplement his report by providing hints on how to locate and follow the Pinhoti Trail. As he says, its trailhead is very obscure.

At the exact point on CR-8 indicated by the distance in Mike’s report is a gate on the north side of the road with a “No Trespassing” sign. The Pinhoti trail crosses the road about 200 feet east of this point. On the south side, it is indicated by an inconspicuous 4 foot pole; on the north side, its only indication is some orange tape.

The trail turns left only a few feet into the trees. It then joins the road beyond the gate just before a large clear area covered with slash. If the trail is blocked by a slash pile without turning left, you've already missed the turn. Once on the road, follow it for less than 5 minutes until a sign indicates that the Pinhoti Trail branches off to the right of the road at a fork. As the Pinhoti Trail climbs its way up into the hills, it is occasionally obscure but frequently marked in several different ways: orange tape, blue paint marks, white bird's-foot paint marks, and signs with either a bird's foot or identifying the trail by name. If you ever go more than a few minutes without seeing one of these kinds of marks, go back and try again. There is some infrastructure: a couple of bridges, a ladder, and a camp site with a BBQ grill and a food line.

No part of the Pinhoti Trail is shown on the 7.5' topo map. The general course of the trail is as follows. It first climbs up Hawkins Hol to the southeast corner of section 3, then switchbacks up the right side to the summit of point 1,360+, about 1/4 mile south of point 1,525. It then contours around to the ~1,250 foot saddle 1/4 mile east of point 1,525. From there, it traverses the south side of the ridge to the east, gaining the crest at ~1,750 feet. From there, it stays close to the crest to the summit of Flagpole.