Ascent of Taylor Ridge-Bryan Benchmark on 2013-04-30

Climber: Preston Ledford

Others in Party:Matt Scantland
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Taylor Ridge-Bryan Benchmark
    Elevation:1427 ft / 434 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my most anticipated county highpointing trip yet, as it is my native county. To get there, get off Exit 348 and head south on Highway 151. Stay on this road for 7.7 miles before turning left on East Nickajack Road. You will begin to ascend up Taylor's Ridge and there will be a few curves and turns. As you get to the top, park on the right gravel shoulder. You will know where to park because you will be able to see the Whitfield County line sign and a very sharp curve in the road. From there, the journey begins...
There is evidence of an old logging road from the road, and we took the trail. A great deal of vegetation and no one maintaining the trail made this very difficult for a while. If we didn't keep our eyes constantly on the ground, we would've been lost in a ridge of green. Keep following the rock crops and you should be fine. We walked all the way until a wooden pole that marks the corner edge of Catoosa and Whitfield counties. From that point, the trail descends and becomes wider, as if room for an ATV or four-wheeler. The widened trail descends sharply and then begins to ascend with several turns and curves. There is one point where the trail forks, and it is important to take the left fork, as it leads to the highpoint. The trail ascends until a clearing of trees is present. Walk past the clearing, and a few feet further on the right side of the trail is the survey marker for the highpoint. Of course we were obstructed by trees for any significant view, but we did take some pictures in front of the marker.
On the way down, we took the same route and started ascending close to the county intersection. We took an excursion of sorts, driving our legs through the briars and small pine trees, our bodies taking a green pounding as we walked deeper. We tried to make the trip worthwhile with a view, and we finally got a small opening that was good enough to snap a few pictures. It is important to realize that this is not a highpoint trip for spectacular views, but if you know the land well enough, you can manage to find a scenic view of the lower areas and higher mountains west of Catoosa. After returning to the trail, we kind of lost the path, but following the rock crops, made our way back to the cars. Proud to say I checked my native county off the list!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Total Elevation Loss:400 ft / 120 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:400 ft / 121 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 200 ft / 61 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Loss on way in:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.8 km
    Route:Logging Road
    Start Trailhead:Intersection of Nickajack and Houston Valley Road  1227 ft / 373 m
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.8 km
    Route:Trail, Logging Road
    End Trailhead:U.S. Survey Marker  1227 ft / 373 m
    Time:40 Minutes

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