The Restek Ramblers ninth hike of the season had us climbing Thickhead Mountain. Our adventure started with us parking along Thickhead Mountain road, near the intersection of this road and the John Wert Path. The John Wert Path is gated here as it is also an access road to a camp located here. We headed back the John Wert Path for a little over a tenth of a mile before we turned left on the Shingle Path Trail. I had visited here about 4 weeks ago and painted yellow blazes on this trail. Once we turned off onto the Shingle Path Trail, we had an easy time, following these new blazes up the side of Thickhead Mountain.

It wasn't long before the trail got very steep as we continued our climb up the north face of Thickhead Mountain. It was a bit of a struggle, but we all made it to the top of the long, arduous climb. Once we reached the top of the mountain we hiked across the relatively flat trail. At about three quarters of a mile into the hike we arrived at the junction of Shingle Path Trail and the Detweiler Run Road.

The Detweiler Run Road is a gated forest road, used mostly by mountain bikers. The road was wide and grassy, with a visible dirt path running down the middle of the road. We followed this path as we finished our short, gradual ascent to the top of Thickhead Mountain.

We soon arrived at a junction of grassy roads. We turned right and hiked a short distance to visit McKinney Springs. This is a small water source located, oddly enough, on the very top of the mountain. This spring is also the headwaters and the start of Detweiler Run.

After visiting the spring, we retraced our steps and continued straight on Thickhead Mountain Road. We had an easy hike down the road for the next 2 plus miles. We had a chance to take in a partial vista at a little over 2 miles into the hike. However, when we stopped to take in the view we were attacked by gnats. They were everywhere, so we couldn't stand still for long.

The rest of the hike was an easy walk back to the cars. With the bugs everywhere, we had to keep the pace rather swift. If we hiked to slow, then we were swarmed by gnats. We completed the hike of a little over four miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes. A very healthy pace for a hike, considering the steep climb we had to get to the top of the mountain.

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