Loop 3: Brushy Run • Length: 14.2 miles • Ascents: 1 (3.4 miles) • Gain: 360 ft. • Hwy. miles: 1.3

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This tour begins at the Schmucker Community Center near Upper Tract. To reach the starting point from Franklin, take U. S. Rt. 220 north 10.6 miles to Upper Tract and turn right onto Schmucker Rd. Travel 2.5 miles to the Schmucker Community Center grounds on the left, just after passing Poor Farm Rd. on the right.

Begin the tour by turning left onto Schmucker Rd. At 0.6 miles, continue straight at the intersection with Kiser Gap Rd., which is confusingly also the name of what should logically be a continuation of Schmucker Rd. At 1.2 miles, turn left, staying on the center-lined main road through the picturesque crumbling remains of the once-thriving community of Kline.

Turn left again at 1.5 miles onto Ridge Rd. Follow an undulating traverse of the ridge whose roadside sandstone banks provide habitat for the uncommon birdfoot violet, which blooms in late April.

At 4.4 miles, begin a steady descent and reach bottom at 6.2 miles. Turn right on US Rt. 220 for 1.3-mile stretch of highway riding. Pass Dismal Hollow Rd. and at 7.5 miles turn right on Brushy Run Rd. to begin the climb back to higher ground.

A noticeably large poultry operation is evident at 10.3 miles. Contract growing of poultry has tied the fate of many Pendleton County farms to the market-share competition of the major food-processing corporations. One wonders if the still independently raised cattle and sheep will someday be profitably manipulated and industrialized in the same way as hogs and turkeys.

At 10.9 miles, turn right at the stop sign onto Rt. 1 and at 13.0 miles turn right again for the 1.2 mile return to the starting point.

 

 


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