Big Ridge Mountain Club sits on 14 acres. About half of that is all the pasture you see from the road and the other half is the woods that extend down the hill from the pasture. This summer, we’ve been mowing walking paths through the pasture and around the pasture’s perimeter, and last week, we completed some upgrades and expansions to the trail loop through the woods.

The trail had taken a beating since we first carved it into the woods the summer before last. It was high time for a refresh. Early this month, six great teenagers spent two days doing some much needed maintenance of the loop trail, and they had enough time left over to began expanding the little trail network. Many thanks to Alex, Cameron, Rhea, Samuel, Townsend, and Liam! Not only were they were entirely self-organized and self-directed, but everyone survived and their work is outstanding!

Going clockwise, the trail enters the woods behind the Writer’s Hut, climbs briefly, descends to the bottom of the draw where several seasonal springs meet to form a bubbling creek, then climbs steeply and emerges again in the pasture near the top of the hill.

The paths and trails are great for strolling with a cup of coffee in your hand (and/or the hand of a loved one). I’m guessing it’s about a half a mile. If it’s been wet, I recommend pulling on a pair of wellies (we have a few sizes in the foyer closet).

Now if you are interested in a proper hike, I recommend you go off the property. Nearby High Falls Trail (seven minutes away) is absolutely beautiful and Panthertown (20 minutes away) has outstanding hikes of all sorts. If you are a backpacker, I recommend through- or section-hiking the 77-mile Foothills Trail; its southern terminus and halfway point are in Oconee State Park and Gorges State Park, respectively. The list of great trails in the area is essentially endless, so I won’t try to catalog them all, but here is a list of some favorites.

P.S. Here is Townsend testing out the freshly sanded tree swing seat. We’re thinking we’ll hang it from one of the taller tall trees just below where the trail emerges onto the pasture.

Posted on August 17, 2022 by Geoff Graham