We determined that this very humid day was the day to complete a survey of the previous lead found along the John Wert Path (formerly the Sinking Creek Trail). We left a car at Bear Meadows, and went to Thickhead Mtn Rd end of the path to begin surveying.
The path departs the road on a driveway to two camps. On its left, RoW is buried under copious rhodadendron. At one or two spots it breaks out to expose rock ballasting. [note: the map does not show this stretch in the correct location, probably due to GPS inaccuracy]
We stopped at the first camp to talk to a resident. He informs us the camp was completed before 1952, and that workers were housed there during construction of the nearby pipeline. We suspect the bulldozing of the driveway dates from that time… does that mean the original access to the camp was via the railroad RoW? Hmmm.
Around the first camp, we found the RoW appears to have dropped down closer to Sinking Creek. Its path is a little vague until passing the second camp, at which point it’s plainly visible alongside the cleared JWP. At the pipeline clearing, it’s pretty easy to extrapolate the path across the interruption. From there on we found it a pretty easy survey, as most of the RoW is very well ballasted with rock. If you go, expect lots of rocks and rhodadendron!
Eventually, the RoW began to trend a bit to the left, away from the stream, and become somewhat vague. At its approximate end, Vince identified a fairly clear logslide (or at least skid road) coming downhill from the left. It appears there was probably a loading area where it met the railroad. Sure enough, Vince found a very large pile of clinkers right about where one would expect a locomotive to sit while loading logs.
We explored a bit around the area to see if we’d missed anything, but it appears this really was a terminus. We continued along the John Wert Path to Bear Meadows, which is a rather nice hike with rather fine large hemlocks and other trees. We still don’t know who John Wert is, but we appreciate the 1.11 miles.
- daily contributions: 1.11 miles
- survey total: 25.59 miles