Russell County High Point Trip Report

Beartown Mountain (4,689 ft)

Date: August 2, 2000
Author: Fred Lobdell

For details of access, etc., see Ron Tagliapietra's previous fine report. Ron was able to drive in a mile or so on a dirt road labeled "Muck". I was not so fortunate; I found it gated at the ranger's house, and had to walk from that point, adding another two miles to the round trip. The weather was foggy with intermittent rain, and it took my boots several days to dry out.

I walked up the road to the point where Ron had to park, and continued from there. Where my map showed a stream crossing, I turned left and crossed the stream, then shortly continued west, parallel to the stream. However, the road, shown as continuing on for a considerable distance, does not. It ends in a large open field, and the bushwhacking starts here. I entered the woods on my right and bushwhacked up a ridge, going first west, then southwest, and finally almost due south. The woods were fairly open but the way was moderately steep to steep in places. When I finally got to the intersecting ridge I found it marked at fairly frequent intervals with large yellow blazes, and a halfway decent use path followed along the ridge line. Later I discovered that this marked the boundary of the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area. I turned right and continued along the ridge for another half mile or so, and it was starting to swing around from west to northwest. This was good, as the next steep ridge to ascend would have been a north-trending one. However, I could not see very far because of the fog, and I turned back at this point.

Afterward I looked at the topographic maps in the ranger's office, and it seems that this might be the best course to follow. The WMA boundary follows along the ridge line and passes right over the summit of Beartown Mountain (assuming it's accurately plotted on the map) and if that use trail and the blazes continue all the way, it would make the bushwhack somewhat easier.