Rutherford County Highpoint Trip Report

Sugarloaf Mtn

Date: October 18, 2006
Author: Edward Earl

From Edneyville on US-64 about 7 miles northeast of I-26, I headed east on Gilliam Mountain Road. After about 2.5 miles, the road ended at a stop sign at a T-junction (actually, an unpaved road heads straight) with a brown corrugated metal building (a fire station, I believe) on the left. This is the point identified as "Mills Gap" on the 7.5 minute topo. Here I turned left on Sugarloaf Mountain Road. After 1.5 more miles is the T-junction north of "point 2778". It appears from the topo that you'd have to stop but in fact you veer right without stopping; it's the traffic coming from the left that has to stop.

After one more mile, I turned left on Sugarloaf Mountain Road (another road with the same name), which is initially paved but soon becomes dirt. The road climbs through the forest and the reaches an open meadow with houses before ending at a stone house. There were no signs but it was obviously private property and I didn't feel like asking permission, so I decided to take another approach through the bush.

I retreated to the northernmost switchback on the road, at 3,540 feet, about 0.3 mile east-southeast of the summit, where an old road heads northeast. The road is blocked by a berm, a ditch, and an rusted metal gate with no sign. It obviously has not been used in many years. I parked at the junction (ample space), negotiated the berm, ditch, and gate, and walked up the overgrown road. As the topo map shows, the hill to the left is steep but it becomes less steep after less than 5 minutes of walking. When the steepness eased sufficiently, I turned left and headed due west uphill through open forest, which ended just before the grassy bald summit of Sugarloaf Mountain.

The summit has been flattened and is occupied by a bowling-pin-like FAA VOR transmitter. It is surrounded by a wooden picket fence with "No Trespassing" signs around it. The highest ground is either inside the fence or just outside it.