Knox County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 14, 1999
Author: Andy Martin

My morale was dampened considerably, and seeing House Mountain socked in through the drizzle did not brighten the picture. The trails on the east side of the mountain looked pretty wet, so I drove over to the west side for a look at the road leading up to the lookout tower. Hopefully I could drive up. If not, the road might be easier to handle in the rain than the trail.

It turned out that this road was locked and gated right at the pavement, and I parked there and pondered my fate. I was no longer in "front door" mode or "backwoods" mode, but in the uncertain and dangerous "dead-in-the-water" mode. My reverie was interrupted by the arrival of the landowner, a parent driving a SUV with child in tow. They informed me that access was closed on this side of the mountain, but I could use the trails on the other side, though they might be a bit slick.

Back on the east side of House Mountain I parked at 1,200', by the locked gate of the parking area. Handy 8.5x11 sheets describing the trails in the area were at a kiosk. I went up the Mountain Trail, and then the Turkey Trail to the mountain crest. Did not see any turkeys, just a couple box turtles splashing about.

Once on the crest I hiked SW to the lookout tower. The road up from the west side looked to be in fair shape. At the tower I left my last TN register at the base. All the steps were pulled from this one so I did not get to climb it, though everything was too socked in for much of a view.

I headed back to the main saddle, and then NE to the other 2,080+ area on House Mountain. Felt a nice sense of accomplishment when I got there. This pretty well marked the completion of Martin's Lane except for a minor touch up in NC, and this last hike was a good one to end on, though the wet conditions were unfortunate.