Birkhead Wilderness Hike: A Foothills Group Outing

Outings Leader Henry Fansler led an outing through the Birkhead Wilderness Area on February 22.  Here's his recap of the outing and some pictures of the trail and its hikers that day:

Before the hike. From left to right: Henry Fansler, Mike Hill, Laura Phail, Cornelia Barr, Kelli Bush, and Kim Fleming.

In order to see a representative section of the Birkhead Wilderness, I choose to do a loop hike.  I choose to begin the hike at the Hannahs Creek Trail trailhead.  It had an excellent parking area, but was really crowded with several Boy Scout groups that Saturday.  

We followed the trail to the first intersection, and turned to the right to stay on the Hannahs Creek Trail. 

This area is filled with oak and holly, and at this time of the year, the holly is resplendently green among the bare branches of the oaks.  We crossed Robbins Branch in about a mile.  The creek crossing on the loop are easy rock hopping ones except when there has been snow followed by rain.  This is the only crossing that took some carefully stepping. the trailed then ran parallel to Hannahs Creek until we came to the intersection with the Birkhead Mountain Trail. 

 

We turned left onto the Birkhead Mountain Trail and began to ascend, passing the remains of John Bulkhead’s plantation.  Only the sign telling you of the location was noticeable to me.  At the next intersection, we turned left onto the Robbins Branch Trail that follows Robbins Branch and its tributaries.  We then returned to the trail intersection with Hannahs Creek after a few creek crossings.   This made a splendid easy to moderate loop trail of just less than seven miles. 

During the hike.