Pulaski County High Point Trip Report

Walker Mtn (3,699 ft)

Date: July 10, 2002
Author: Fred Lobdell

Pulaski (pronounced PEW-las-ky by the locals) County's HP is one of several large rocky outcrops on the crest of Walker Mountain. Walker is a long ridge trending approximately east-northeast to west-southwest, and the Bland/Pulaski county line follows the ridge crest for part of the way, including the Pulaski cohp.

Follow Bill Schuler's fine directions to get to the jumping-off point for this one. This is a ridge line bushwhack of about 3 miles, round trip, with a little less than 500 feet of elevation gain. It took me a little more than 2 hours, including scrambling up onto various rocks and going about a quarter mile further along the ridge than I had to in order to be sure that I really had reached the HP. The bushwhacking is not especially difficult, and there is a faint use trail that appears and disappears from time to time. The south side of the ridge is Jefferson National Forest land, and there are occasional signs and red blazes marking the forest boundary. Perhaps the use trail dates from when these signs and blazes were posted, or renewed.

The ridge line is entirely wooded, all the way to the summit, so views are minimal. Much of the undergrowth was taken up with thousands of black cohosh (also called bugbane) in bloom. These produce white flower stalks near the end of stems that can run to as much as 8 feet high. In places, the flowers were quite thick but it was not difficult to push through them when necessary. Thorny plants are at a minimum, so there was no problem with my wearing shorts.

There is a stake that supports a surveyor's ribbon in the middle. However, this is certainly not the summit. It probably marked some sort of property line, as there was a row of ribbons descending the ridge to the north from this point.

Inside the highest contour, near the "X" marking the 3,699 spot elevation, is a large boulder on the north side of the ridge. It rises perhaps 15 feet above the ground. I was able to get myself up on it high enough so that my head and shoulders were above the highest part of the rock. But as I was alone, I didn't want to risk serious injury by climbing up on it entirely, because of difficulty descending. Further west along the ridge are other high rock outcrops, which are easier to ascend. Someone needs to do this one when the leaves are gone and take sightings from the various rock outcrops to determine which is the true HP. Something else to be considered is that if the county line runs along the middle of the ridge, then the first-mentioned boulder above is likely entirely in Bland County.

Somebody has marked the route by twisting small red ties, like those used to close garbage bags, around small horizontal branches about at eye level. These are not very conspicuous, and are really unnecessary. The ridge is quite well defined and you could really get lost only if you tried to.