Trail Report: Pet Cemetery, Tower Loop

Pet Cemetery, Tower Loop

1-1:45 hour ride

Trail Report: December 11, 2011

Terrain: Fire Road, wooded trail, some up and down but no big climbs or descents.  Year round creek crossing.  Some rocky areas but nothing too rough for this area.  Picnic table break point about midway. 

Parking: curved pull over on Tillman Road/101 at Pet Cemetery.  Room for 3 modest rigs parked in line with several other pull over parking spots just up and down the road. 

Having done a loop in the other direction, around Drunken Ridge by taking Heartstone Ridge/431 Trail and then turning on 423 back to Tillman, knowing the parking at this location was pretty accessible, and enjoying some of the trail from accessing it from Bear Trap Road, I decided to try this loop. 

Simon fresh off the trailer and looking thrilled to hit the trail!

I thought it would be particularly good for a pony that is newer to trails or in poor condition, because it starts off with a minor incline along a closed fire road, and then hits some nicely wooded trails and ends with a hack along Tillman Road back to the trailer.  It’s not too strenuous and it’s not too long.  Ironically my friend Carol Ann was interested in going on a ride that Sunday and had a pony to take out on his first trail ride. 

Tillman Road can be reached from two different directions.  I found the Dayton direction to be a pain on Sundays because there are a lot of Mennonite buggies out on the roads visiting after church, and it is easy to get stuck behind a couple with the roads being so hard to pass on, particularly when towing a horse trailer.  So this weekend I went from the other direction by passing through Stokesville and past Bear Trap Road, to turn right onto Tillman/101.  A few miles up Tillman on the right is the pull over curve with a fire road behind it.  It’s a neat starting point because of the pet cemetery placed throughout the woods behind it.  Small gravestones, some professionally made and some homemade let you know that Fluffy, Boo and many other pets were laid to rest in this natural setting. 

Friend, Carol Ann, her pony Finn and her dog Maggie. And those are Simon's ears!

The loop starts out on the fire road behind the parking curve.  It is not that steep and even has a few areas that are close to being called level ground for a few short yards!  The fire road will eventually come to a dead end, according to the map, and I am looking forward to confirming this on a future ride, but for this loop, turn right onto trail 432, that runs fully across the fire road. Just before 432 is another trail that shoots up at an angle on the right, this is the same trail, just starting a few yards earlier.  432 heads up hill and shortly ends at a T and brown trail sign.  Turn right onto Cookie Trail/432Aand enjoy a ride through the woods, with some short up and down hills and some nice views.  There is one tree that leans pretty close into the trail around a rock, but Simon is a pony and fit just fine.  The trail comes out onto a FR at a cell phone tower on the right and a picnic table and rest area available on the left.  Continue straight ahead and onto the fire road for a short distance before taking the first trail on the right. 

 

There is a brown wooden sign and it is marked with the Tillman/101 direction you want.  This trail leads down and along a pleasant trail, although mostly with a downhill slope. 

Simon back at the trailer getting some treats

There is a newly cleared area on the right that has some trails wrapped through it that I am also looking forward to exploring.  Cross a few creek bed crossings, and then the trail follows along beside the creek.  It eventually ends at a larger creek which requires crossing and pops out at a pull over from Tillman that opens to a few private lanes.  Make a right onto Tillman and get in a nice hack back to the parking area. 

A rather quick ride, with petty friendly terrain.  Although Tillman is a road, it is gravel and about 1 ½ lanes wide, both of which help keep what little traffic does travel it from moving too fast.   
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1 Comment

  1. Trail Report: Pet Cemetery, Tower Loop. 4/1/12 | Blue Ridge Pony

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