On December 5th, my husband and I decided to hike up Little Ragged using the Barnestown Road trail. We got a bit of a late start since my husband got lost in something else, and it wasn’t until I reminded him late morning that we had agreed to hike that day. At this time of the year, with sunset around 4, I really liked to be out of the woods by 3. We arrived at the trailhead at 11:30, so hopefully we had enough time to reach our goal.
The first section of trail was used to get to both the Bald Mountain trail and the Georges Highland Path that would take us up to Little Ragged. We started out following the path that went around a field and into the woods. With almost 2 inches of rain just a day or two earlier, even the flat areas were a bit wet and muddy. In fact, I slipped a bit walking around the field.
Once in the woods, the trail consisted of a lot of tree roots and boulders. In fact, this section was essentially a boulder field. You can get a sense of this by the stream flowing down Bald Mountain over the rocks in the first picture of this post. It wasn’t too far beyond this point that we reached an intersection. Turning towards the left would take us up Bald Mountain. We continued straight towards the Georges Highland Path.
With all that rain, there was enough water rushing over the rocks to create some impressive waterfalls. We paused at a few of these to admire nature’s power. At one of these, we actually stopped above and below the falls to study the flowing water from 2 different perspectives.
We continued maneuvering around boulders until we came to a stream crossing. There were no planks or bridges across this stream and with all the rain in the past few weeks, the water covered the rocks. We made it across without any mishaps and continued to follow the trail up to the road. We crossed Barnestown Road to continue on the Georges Highland Path towards Little Ragged.
Across the road, the trail continued in a steady uphill direction. We discovered that there was a lot of mud hidden under the leaves, so we both did a bit of slipping and sliding as we made our way up the mountain. We also found that coming from this direction, it was sometimes difficult to find the next trail marker, but when we turned around the markers were quite clear. From this direction, the signs definitely needed a new coat of paint. In fact, at one of these markers some lichen had grown just above the paint forming a question mark. Even nature was questioning where we were supposed to go.
Our path continued to switchback uphill and at some point took us very close to a ravine. Eventually, we reached a new intersection with a sign post pointing out the new Round the Mountain Trail. Heading towards the left, we made our way up to the first ledge.
This granite section was surrounded by trees but there were still some views of Bald Mountain through the vegetation. I wanted to get to the bald ledge that had unobstructed views but it was already 1:00 and the sun was getting ready to go behind the ridge. We decided to have lunch where we were and then make it downhill before we lost light in the woods.
It was a bit colder than in recent days and we could see some patches of ice on the ledge where the rain had frozen. As we headed back downhill after lunch, I reminded my husband to watch out for the ice. Instead of watching, he stepped right on the ice and fell, landing on his side. As a result of the fall, his leg cramped and he spent a few minutes on the ground until his leg loosened up. I did wonder if he was taking a nap or if I would actually need to call for help. Eventually, he got up and we made it slowly down the mountain. This time, he listened as I called out to him where the patches of ice or mud were located and we made it safely down the hill. Although, we only went about a mile in one direction, this hike took between 2 to 3 hours due to the boulder field, roots, and the muddy, icy conditions; not to mention an injury. We made it safely home by 2:30.