Day Hike in Fort Pillow State Park
Just took a trip to Fort Pillow State Park for the day. Needed to decompress from work and "reboot".
The drive from home to the park is about an hour and a half, but was enjoyable after getting out of city traffic (about 1/2 hour out). Arrived at the park at about 11:45am and stopped by the Park Office / Museum to get a trail map. Did check out the museum, really knew nothing about the fort or it's roll in the civil war until visiting.
Since I wanted to start with the Chickasaw Bluff Trail, I had to drive back out to almost all the way, but I parked right at the trailhead parking lot. Hiked out to the Backpackers Campsite (Not too far from the start of the trail, but some major up and down before getting to the campsite. Looked good and difinitly away from the "campers" in the public camping. The rest of the trail was, what looked to be, an old logging road, so flat and fairly good grade. Hiked to the end of the trail. Never seen a "Trail Ends" sign before. On the hike back out, I wanted to see if I could get a good view of the Mississippi River from what I thought was a clearing (with some very troppical looking plants) but instead it was a small graveyard with 6 or so gravestones).
Got back to the car about 1:30 or so, decided to hike a little further so I started on the Red Trail (Historical Trail Route) towards the Mississippi. Once the trail cut back into the woods, it was more of the up and down with quite a few blowdowns as well. Reached a historical marker, and right after that the trail turned back into an old logging road (actaully it was probably part of the breastworks for the Fort. Hiked to the Yellow trail intersection, and by now the weather was changing and theating rain, so I decided to take the yellow trail to Fort Pillow Lake. Had a little snack there, then hiked the red trail back to the car.
Overall, good day hike, although I think I left about a quart of blood at the park thanks to the mesquitoes (really I exagerate, but not by much). Would have thought that on Nov 6 they would be all dead, but it was extreamly warm for Nov (70+) and it did rain about a 1/2 inch the night before. The Chickasaw Bluff Trail was 4 miles, plus about another 1.5 to 2 for the red and yellow loop, so proabably a total of 6 or so miles (although my FitBit says more like 8).