Jackson County Highpoint Trip Report

Richland Balsam

Date: May 15, 2003
Author: Patrick Craft

To finish my southern sixer quest I needed to climb Richland Balsam and Reinhart Knob. I parked at the Sunburst campground; followed an old logging road, first one north of Boomer Inn Branch, crossed, and continued up on the south side of Boomer Inn Branch. The logging road ended about 4000 feet, so I bushwhacked up the ridge line to Lickstone Ridge. I followed an old trail along the ridge line to the summit of Richland Balsam then hiked down the parkway to Beartrail Ridge Gap.

I then summited Reinhart Knob, then bushwhacked straight down Big Beartrail Ridge back to my car. Nice walk, would be much more difficult after all the summer growth is out. Halfway down the ridge line I came upon the boundary of the Middle Prong Wilderness, signed cleared, blazed. Quite a surprise to see. Must have been a tough survey trip!

Hike statistics: 9 miles; elevation gain 3,555 ft; duration 7 hours