Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Beginning at the Burns Trailhead along Rabbittown Road, the Pinhoti skirts around the east side of Red Mountain as it makes its way into Dugger Mountain Wilderness.
Alabama's third and newest Wilderness Area, Dugger Mountain Wilderness encompasses over 9,000 acres in Talladega National Forest. Second to Cheaha Mountain, Dugger Mountain sits just above 2,100'.
Its rugged and steep terrain is proclaimed by many as the most mountainous in the state.
According to Wikipedia, "it is one of the last intact roadless areas in Alabama's National Forests.
Most of the mountain's 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) were too steep to profitably timber harvest." Today, the Pinhoti traverses a corridor through the heart of this wilderness area, ultimately summiting its namesake peak.
Just south of the summit, look for some views of the nearby Choccolocco Mountains.
Both summer and winter views can be found, though in the spring Poison Oak is also prevalent in the area. On the other side of the designated wilderness area, the Pinhoti passes through another trailhead on FS-500.
The creek along the road serves as a good reliable water source, and a shelter lies a few hundred yards into the trail on the north side of the road.
Ahead, the trail skirts around the picturesque Terrapin Creek Watershed on its way to intersect the Chief Ladiga Trail. The Chief Ladiga Trail is the state's first rail-trail project and follows the same Corridor as Georgia's Silver Comet Trail.
Together, they form a 94-mile path of which the Pinhoti shares a quaint .7-mile portion.
At the junction, a large campground and reliable water make this a popular overnight option and resupply point. The final portion of this segment departs from the Chief Ladiga Trail en route to the High Point Trailhead.
A few views line the way as the trail makes its way along one final ridge to the northern terminus of this segment. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Comet_Trail https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Ladiga_Trail http://www.pinhotitrailalliance.org/section-11..html http://www.pinhotitrailalliance.org/section-12..html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dugger_Mountain_Wilderness