I finally did it! After a couple of years in the process (I’m slow, I know) I have finally hiked every step of every official trail in the Sipsey Wilderness. That’s just over 50 miles of trail. I have done several of the trails MANY times and I’ve also hiked many miles on several unofficial trails as well. I can now concentrate my full attention on more off-off trail adventures. I finished up the last little remnant this past weekend on an easy 7 miler on an overnight trip.
What was the section I was lacking? Believe it or not, a section on Trail 209 from the junction of 202 east to where the Little Ugly Creek dumps into the Sipsey. Ironic that the most popular trail is what I needed to finish, huh?
I left my car at the Sipsey Recreation Area Friday afternoon, I was the only car there and there were only 3 or 4 vehicles at Randolph Trailhead. We hiked in from the Recreation area to an area a little west of Fall Creek Falls and didn’t see anyone the whole time. It was the first time in a long time that Fall Creek Falls was desolate and no one was on the trail. We made it to our campsite just before dark and set up camp and started a fire. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the lunar eclipse, but I never saw anything special. I may have missed it and/or the trees blocked our view. We heard some coyotes in the distance early in the evening, but otherwise it was quiet. Very quiet.
Saturday morning was a slow morning just because we knew we didn’t have far to go and we weren’t in a hurry. We eventually left camp around 1030 (which is VERY LATE by my normal standard). We headed west on 209 and crossed at the 202 junction. We saw a few people on the trail, but not many. After crossing the Sipsey, we headed upstream to see Feather Hawk Falls. Rather than backtrack all the way to the river, we climbed the VERY STEEP hill at the first break in the bluff and came out just a few minute walk down the trail from the big Mossy Tree.
We continued down the trail toward Randolph Trailhead. I hadn’t been on 202 for some time and it was a welcome sight after hiking 201 so many times. We saw quite a few people headed in – most of them day hikers. When we got to Randolph Trailhead, it was rather full of vehicles. We drove to the Recreation Area to pick up my car, and there were over 25 vehicles there.
It was a great trip and I finished up the last little bit of official trail I had not done in the Sipsey Wilderness.
I have now hiked (at least once) everything marked in orange!