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Trail #13 – Springer Mt. 107 Trailhead to Billy Creek

Ponderosa Pine
Ponderosa Pine woods in early morning

Location: From the Pinetop Post Office on SR 260 (map):

  • Drive 0.4 miles east to Pinecrest Road just past the Best Western Motel.
  • Turn right on Pinecrest and drive to the end at the Billy Creek trailhead and park so you do not block any driveways.
  • Drive the second car back to 260 and turn right.
  • Drive 1.0 mile to Moonridge Drive just past the Blue Ridge veterinary clinic and turn right.
  • Drive only 50 yards on Moonridge and turn right on Mountain Drive and drive 0.2 miles east to the corner.
  • Turn left (the only option) and you are now on Billy Creek Drive.
  • Drive 0.1 miles to the stop sign and turn right on Meadow Drive. This road crosses Billy Creek.
  • At the T, turn right on Pine Shadow Drive and drive south and around the hairpin turn uphill to the left. Now you are on Springer Mountain Drive. After 0.3 miles from the T, you'll see the sign for 187 on the right.
  • Turn right on FR 187, a rough gravel and dirt road, and drive up the long hill past the turn to 187A 0.8 miles to the parking lot for the Blue Ridge Trail 107 trailhead No. 1. Park here.

Trail: The trail is a mixture of old logging roads and dirt trails. You have to watch your step most of the way because of the rocks embedded in the trail. The trail will be muddy after rains.

Trailhead and Directions: The trailhead is to the south of the kiosk/bulletin board. Follow the trail up and then down the hill being careful to follow the blue diamonds. The trail switches back and forth to accommodate uphill bicycle traffic as it criss-crosses a lumpy old logging road. The trail uses the roads for a while and then goes off left or right on dirt trails as you rapidly descend Springer Mountain. After about one mile, you drop into the Billy Creek valley. At 1.4 miles, you will come to an open area with a sign pointing left and right towards Trailhead 1 that you just came from, and Trailhead 2 ahead of you. Turn right down the hill towards the creek where you will see another sign “Billy Creek Connector.” Walk across Billy Creek that can be wet but usually is easy over some rocks and decide which trail to take back to car number one. Turn immediately right after crossing the creek to follow the trail along the creek (Option 1) or go straight ahead on the old logging road for a flatter walk back to the car (Option 2). For details on 14 Billy Creek trails, see that page.

Access: Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding. No motorized vehicles, although four-wheelers do use some of the rough old logging roads in the fall. No handicapped access.

Distance: The total distance between the two cars is about 2.2 miles.

Difficulty: Walking downhill most of the way is easy except for the rocks in the old logging roads.

Features: The trail passes through a mature pine-oak-juniper forest. The usual forest birds are present. Northern Goshawks have nested on the north side of Billy Creek where the trail makes a turn to the east. Elk, deer, and Black Bear are present but very rarely seen. Flowers are not abundant on the downhill part of the trail, but are more prevalent along Billy Creek.

When you drive up 187 with the second car, you pass 187A on the right. This road leads to the Springer Mountain fire lookout tower that you can climb and talk to the observer when it is open. This provides a nice view of Pinetop-Lakeside and surrounding country.

Connections: From Trailhead 1 of the Blue Ridge trail that you will hike downhill, you can continue to the east to Trailhead 2 also on FR 187 near Sky Hi Road. Or from Trailhead 1, you can walk north across 187 and find the Blue Ridge trail that goes to the summit of the Blue Ridge and then down to Trailhead 2, making a complete loop back to Trailhead 1, a total of over 8 miles. If you were to walk across and start up the Blue Ridge trail from Trailhead 1, after a mile you will come to the Ice Cave trail on the left that goes down to Scott Reservoir past the Osprey Connector that runs north to connect with the Timber Mesa trails.

Springer Mt 107 Trailhead to Billy Creek
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