Madison County Highpoint Trip Report

Sandymush Bald (5,152 ft)

Date: March 20, 1999
Author: Ron Tagliapietra

From I-40, exit 24 and drive north about 3 miles on NC 209 to Crabtree-Ironduff School on left. Just beyond the school, turn right on NC 1503. Drive two miles and turn left onto Bald Creek Road (NC 1505). Drive 3.2 miles to a turnout on the right just beyond a stream (Indian Branch) near a gated gravel logging road on the left and several tenths before the posted development dead end.

Hike through the gate and stay right (crossing stream) at first junction and right again at posted junction. The logging roads are on the Fines Creek topo and you can keep turning uphill until you have hiked about two miles to reach the ridge line in Crab Orchard Fields. Crabtree Bald is a mile southwest along grassy meadows. Sandymush Bald is 1.5 miles northeast on a logging road near the ridge line (two gates, one posted, Buckeye Gap has driveway to house).

BM Sandymush (1933) is obvious in the highest rock. Total gain is about 3000 feet to bag both summits. Old CMC brochure recommends both Crabtree and Sandymush as separate hikes on private land but does not discuss connecting ridge so I do not know if the posting is precautionary or strict. Avoid in hunting season. The house being built near the start of the road may alter access.