Route Climbed: Raven Rock Trail/Dogwood Trail/Benn Knob Trail/Fox Trail/Jack Branch Trail/Upper Falls Trail Date Climbed: 01-26-2005
Last April, the day before the park was closed for road repairs, I climbed Chestnut Knob and had wanted to summit Benn Knob the same day. Poor weather and a late start kept me from hitting Benn Knob. In the meantime, road problems kept the park closed and two hurricanes dumped a tremendous amount of water on the park, washing out bridges, thus keeping South Mountains State Park closed for almost a year. I finally got back on January 26 and via a complicated cobweb of trails, was able to summit Benn Knob and hike down over the course of six long hours. It's not an easy hike, and I was disappointed to discover that the peak has been clearcut and chainlinked to provide a spot for microwave towers. Oh, well. The hike up and back down, through the deep valleys and across the crystal clear streams was a great way to spend the day.
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."