Friday, November 19, 2010


This is the parking "place" for the Pinnacle Trail on Buffalo Mountain. 2 spots! Hopefully this will be resolved later but it's ok for now, you are able to park on the shoulder. This gravel drive arches around and comes back out to the road about 100yds to the right of this sign. The Tanasi Center will be built in the half circle the sign says. There are already picnic tables stashed all the way around the drive on what looks like mini-camping pads for future picnics and such. The little town of Unicoi is really pushing being "cycling friendly" with this trail, the CX racing this year at FarmHouse Gallery, hosting the ETSU collegiate CX race in December and there is talk of a road race in 2011. I was hoping to get Capt. Dingo to accompany me but he was busy today. A couple of days ago he posted a FB photo busting on some friends of ours that are already using the trainers so I'm going to take it a step further....... Hey I'm out riding trails while all of you are at WORK!

Ok, here is the trail head, neat and tidy looks really sweet! It starts out gradually climbing but quickly ramps up for a steady grind for the first 1.5 miles or so. Look carefully at the marker.... no horses and or vehicles. Well, there are already hoof divots more than 6in deep that look like empty fencepost holes...... and many ATV tire tracks near the top.

Up and more up! It's steeper than it looks and it's a great workout if you're looking to strengthen your climbing legs.

...and some more up! There was about three sections where the grade had to be nearly 25% for about 10 yards. I was surprised to see such sharp inclines on the way up. The first 2.6 miles is 98% up, after the first mile and a half it actually turns into a pleasant trail. Only 1 major problem that will arise I think; hikers. This trail is for Hikers and Bikes only. When you point your bars back to Unicoi you can have a blast hammering downhill on this trail. If you encounter any hikers you will not be able to stop going that fast down this trail, it can be that fast! At one point I was thinking on the way down; this could be a killer DH run for collegiate racing. This trail has 2.5 miles of trail and you can reach some hairy speeds with plenty of switchbacks that would challenge your braking skills, not bad!

Mad props to whomever built this crossing in the turn. It looks alot like Ben "applebeast" Appleby's handi work. Ben has almost single handily rebuilt the ETSU trail system at school! Alot of attention to rock placing and detail work for the water runoff of the V in the ridge (or whatever the terminology is) . Great work! If this trail had the leaves blown off that would help alot and let the bottom part harden up.

Here is a shot from up near the firetower looking down into Unicoi through the powerline clearing.

So many beautiful views from this trail. I'm very thankful that I live in the area I live in. I took a trip to Moab, UT. back in '08 and while I was there I was yearning for my trees & mountains, you can see why............

I could see three mountain ranges from up there. This is the back side of the firetower going up. The trail crosses the FS road and corkscrews around the backside of the firetower utilizing some old doubletrack before turning into some more newly built trail for the last mile to get you up there.

This is the left side of the panoramic pic above.

Looking down towards Johnson City from about half way up the first part of the Pinnacle Trail.

Looking out to Unicoi from a part of the trail.

I'm really surprised at how fast this was completed. I talked to one of the construction men at the top and he told me this was from the Reclamation Grant from the Govt. His company received.....hold onto your hat.....$318,000.00 just to rebuild the firetower alone. I'm not sure if I believed him or not but that's what he told me.

Well that's what I did for part of my Friday other than work on a Java project that has me pulling my hair out. Get out and ride this trail, it needs you!
Quality of the pics are low and I appologize. I used my HTC Eris droid phone for these.

LAter G.........................................

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