Bearwallow Rim Loop Hike
Basics: Length — 11.6 miles; Difficulty — Strenuous; Carpool Fee — Roughly 18 miles, so let’s round to $2.00 per person; What to Bring — Basic hiking gear, lunch, clothing adequate for the day; Highlights — Views from along Cove Mountain, deep woods.
Detailed Description of the Hike: We’ll start at the Bearwallow Trailhead (formerly Pico Trailhead) near Buchanan on the Glenwood Horse Trail (GHT). We’ll follow the GHT across 43, follow Bearwallow Creek a short distance, then partially climb Cove Mountain before descending to join the Buchanan Trail. The route then follows the Buchanan Trail up a scenic hollow before gaining the Appalachian Trail near the ridge of Cove Mountain.
About half of the route is along the Appalachian Trail, passing a view of the Pico Valley, Cove Mountain Shelter, a sweeping view of Bearwallow Hollow, and then several nice views from the re-growing burn area. Re-crossing 43 on the AT, we climb to the crest of the next ridge.
My trip wouldn’t be complete without some bushwhacking, so we’ll follow the crest of the ridge, passing some modest viewpoints. The last leg is a steep descent of the ridge, then a pleasant warm-down on the GHT back to the parking lot. There is substantial elevation change on the route, so hikers should be in good shape.