The White Rock Trail didn't seem very interesting, but it had a major aspect in its favor - it left from the same parking area. The trail starts off on a roadway, and eventually reaching a gate where the road turns into a trail. The trail climbs in a remarkably consistent manner to the site of an old fire tower, now dismantled. From the bottom to the top, the trail is 2.12 miles long and the grade is 14%. Yet the steepest portion of this trail is only 16%. No doubt this consistency can be attributed to the trail's former life as a road to the fire tower.
The trail, though skirting the edge of a federally designated wilderness area, was never quiet because it overlooked Interstate 64 and road noise was constant. I was also in sight of cell towers and received a call from a friend during the hike, allowing me to describe to him a potential campsite as I walked.
|The land below levels out and this is clearly an established campsite.|
At the top of the mountain, the trail rides the crest for a while before descending the ridge and, maps claim, turning into another road.
|A view from the top of the ridge.|
The dark ridge is the Rough Mountain Wilderness.
The two ridges beyond are in Douthat State Park.
It is possible that all of the area hiked may someday be part of a wilderness area. The Forest Service in 2009 has been working on a revision to its Forest Plan for the
Distance: 4.6 miles
Total Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes.
Steepest Uphill: from 0.9 miles to 2.12 miles; 16% grade.
Starting Elevation: 1533 ft.
Highest Point: 3098 ft.