I took the Battery Rock traditional start when I did my through hike in February at the spur of the moment because rain was forecast that night and the next day, and the E’town leg is notorious when muddy. The Battery Rock leg travels mostly down old abandoned roadbeds that have a rockier base than the dirt roads of the E’town leg, plus you pass Camp Cadiz, a great resting area with water and restroom. That’s actually the only spot I didn’t get rained on the next day!
I recently found out from the Forest Service that any maintenance being done on the Battery Rock leg will have to be done by volunteers. I consider that a green light. There will be new maps coming soon for the rest of the R2R trail on the FS website, but no maps of the old leg. My homemade ones are it.
Like a lot of people, I had heard the old Eastern Spur below High Knob to Battery rock was bad. I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t in better, or worse than the rest of the trail, just nearly unblazed. About 100 new blazes were put up this Fall and the trail itself is for the most part very comparable with the rest of the River to River trail. It’s actually less muddy by far than the Elizabethtown leg. There are 2 places with long road walking. Where you come out on Forest road 1749 to Where you go back into the woods at Tucker Hill road is about 7 miles of mostly shaded low traffic county road except for the mile of Rt1 which is similar to Rt45 to Goddards crossing. The second place you come out at Lamb to where you get to the trailhead at Battery Rock is 3 miles of very nice shaded country road. As much as I hate road walking, I liked it better than Long Pine & Twinz road East of Ferne Clyffe.
Like everyone says though, there really isn’t a secure place to leave a car and if you decide to do this leg, your best bet would be to schedule a pickup at the trailhead by the shuttle service mentioned on that page or get picked up. I did leave my Honda there overnight, but it is very remote.
I hiked the section from the E’Town junction to Camp Cadiz (5 miles) last Spring (6/29/16) It was overgrown in places like other places on the trail, but not impassable or hard to follow. I was doing a base camp hike and did it both ways.
The section out Of camp Cadiz West was among the worst areas but it wasn’t too long before it got into deeper woods and the trail got clearer. I used lots of Permethion on my clothes and bug spray on my arms & legs. It is mandantory long pants or zip offs due to the poison ivy. The hiking would have been much better after a killing frost. (UPDATE!! When I went through in March, the whole overgrown area was cleared!) Really the only really grown up area is the weird vine section just West of the Rock Creek area. It isn’t grown up in the usual sense, it just has a bunch of thick vines like a jungle you have to go around & under. It’s actually kind of cool.
The mile from Karbers Ridge Rd. West to the E’town to High Knob section was about the nicest section of R2R anywhere. No idea why but it is wide & fine limestone graveled.
Not a lot of running water sources on the East end of this section, but a lot of the trail is decent 4 wheeler traveled trail. Some nice woods but nothing stands out.
I traveled the whole route as of 12/5/16 there are 80 new blazes (trail markers) from Camp Cadiz to Battery Rock. The trail is in good condition.
The sun stayed away unfortunately this week, but the hiking was great.
^ entering the woods heading South across the road from Camp Cadiz.
^ Bluffs and Caves at the bottom of the hike West the trail curves South from there.
^ A creek crossing. The trail is clear and wide. Now well marked.
^ Intersection with forest road, continue South.
^ Another creek crossing. I climbed the tree roots.
Up the road from this creek crossing was an old homestead site with trash, tires & bottles. Careful around these, there is always a well or cistern. This one has fallen in.
You will soon reach this leaning shed and then cross highway 3, Or an unmapped county road, which google misses quite a bit on their maps.
You will travel along with a field to your left. reach a curve right and travel a short way Back West, then turn South again with a field on your right. Soon you will gross a gravel driveway and head into the real forest for a ways. No more road bed. It’s somewhat overgrown, but you can handle it. Follow the biggest path under the low branches and vines. Remember, there is a big horse ride that takes this route and they manage the low branches somehow.
You will end up at a wide Power line clearing, using the word clearing loosely.
Go straight across.
You will take the trail back north a short way and curve around the hill you are on and head South. Check the map. If there was a path you could have just went across the top, but there isn’t. You will soon cross County Road 845 or Rock Creek road depending on the map just South of 3.
You will continue East and then follow a creek a short way N.E. until you cross at a wide spot.
You will follow the creek on the right bank for a long way. Don’t get lost when you meet the fallen tree you have to climb over. The trail heads down there headed East. There are the remains of an old spur trail if you try going around the tree up hill, and it will get you lost. ask the one who knows. It used to go to this long abandoned Tack shop. There is no longer a trail there but you might see this blaze on a sign along Rock Creek Road/ CR 1050.
Continue along the creek East and forget I said anything about a spur trail.
Enjoy the view as the trail rises with the bluff East,
^ It isn’t as impressive in a photo taken on an overcast day but the creek and rocks are beautiful in real life.
You will reach a gap in the bluff you have been traveling and curve South along some nice boulder caves & views as you cross the creek in the gap and climb the far side.
Soon you will emerge at the sign on the ground that claims you have only gone 5 Miles from Camp Cadiz. I have some good news & bad news. The Good news is that road walking is much faster than trail walking. (the sign is no longer there)
1/2 mile to where FR 1749 Meets CR 1050/ Rock Creek Rd. (head West from downed sign, NOT East) You will soon pass Adams Cemetery.
You will get to a triangle intersection. Go left on 1005E.
After 4.3 miles from the downed sign you are at Zion Church. Rt. 1 / 1275E. Head South and Turn Left onto 1550E (first road left at all the mailboxes)
Head East and take the left up Tucker Hill Road. It is almost in sight from Rt1 except for the road curve. On the map, the road continuing straight East is also Tucker Hill Road. No, that isn’t confusing at all. Just look for the blazes left.
Tucker Hill Road has 2 main peaks. Once you get to the top, the next is just ahead. When you pass the big pole building with the old Ford Flatbed and cool Dodge rusting in peace, you are about there. The trailhead is on the right just before the curve, Take it the short way in to the Y.
You will see the Quail co-op field straight ahead and an old roadbed to the left. Take the old roadbed.
There is a user made road cutting off to the left. This parallels the R2R roadbed all the way to the left turn, then rejoins it. It is flat and smooth, the trail is hilly, scenic and rough rocks. Your choice.
Not much more to tell about this stretch. It’s a nice walk along a still in use by 4 wheelers roadbed along a ridge.
It turns North for a way then back East coming to a T with The road through Lamb, (James Town Road 840N)
Take it South back to 1550E. Head East.
Now you are on the last road walk. It’s not bad, not much traffic and it goes by fast, especially in the Honda, But I Hiked it a couple of years ago.
The road changes numbers a few times but keep heading East. Consult the map, follow the old blazes and blue “I”s. Turn right at the last Y. Pass the Hay Bale City. Moo at the Cows on the right. Climb the loose gravel hill and turn left to the top, then turn right and the road gets narrow and levels off.
along the field. Take the right fork at the Trailhead bulletin board. Keep an eye out for the blazes left about 1/4-1/2 mile South.
Descend the steep rocks to the river level and go North along the shore to Battery Rock. FIN
On a sunnier trip.