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Boogerman Trail continued

Cataloochee Area

After more than a dozen creek crossings the trail comes to the second junction of the Boogerman Trail. This is the recommended route because the climb along Caldwell Creek is gradual. The climb up Boogerman Trail at the first junction is long and steep. The Boogerman Trail is a hiker only trail so don't expect to see any of the muddy patches that you saw on Caldwell Fork Trail.

Turn at this junction and enter the world of Robert Booger Palmer. Mr. Palmer was an very busy man in his day. That is obvious by the many stone walls and structures that line this trail. The first structure, on the right, is all that remains of a spring house. The door jam is still partially intact, two pieces stand upright firmly planted in the stone foundation. This is a great place to do off trail exploration. There are lots of remnants of an old homestead and the structures that are left are the result of solid construction. The usual rules regarding snakes apply. Simply put, be careful where you put your hands and feet and you will get along with them just fine!

After passing the first structures, the trail climbs along the aptly named Snake Branch. The Boogerman Trail is actually an old road built by Robert Palmer. You can still see split rail fence posts that line the old road. Continue up the trail passing more stone walls and foundations. After crossing Snake Branch, begin a short but steep climb. The new addition of a series of switchbacks, makes the climb up to the top of the dry ridge at the top much easier. 

After reaching the top, you leave the old structures and enter an area that has a significant amount of old growth forest. Here there are plenty of "Second Growth" hemlocks, beech and sassafras trees. Like most residents of Cataloochee, old man Palmer liked his trees and didn't allow wholesale cutting of these beautiful trees. Aside from a few "seeps" this section of the trail is very dry. The rest of this trail is downhill. For the next 2.5 miles, you can enjoy Booger Palmer's beautiful domain without a strenuous climb that may distract you from this beautiful forest. Wildflowers are plentiful in the Spring and Fall here. After a beautiful and painless stroll in the forest, you will reach the Caldwell Fork Trail again. From this trail junction it is only 8 tenths of a mile back to the trail head. 

Cataloochee Information

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