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By Crystal Glenn
There are places on this planet that radiate a certain energy that when experienced touch us in a profound way. Coosa County contains within it one of these almost magical places.
Flagg Mountain, located in the Weogufka State Forest, is a treasure that one must experience to truly understand how special it is.
What makes a place like this resonate with us so deeply? Is it the ground, the altitude, the trees, the people who have visited? Maybe it is a combination of all of these things.
For the past three years Flagg Mountain has been cared for by a man named M.J. “Ebb” Eberhart, known by locals as “Sunny.” No doubt, Sunny has contributed much of this undeniably peaceful energy that one will experience once they ascend the mountain.
Eberhart, whose trail name is Nimblewill Nomad, is an avid hiker who began his nomadic lifestyle back in the 1980s. Breaking numerous records, he has hiked a combined thousands of miles in his lifetime through the Appalachians, Long Range Mountains of Newfoundland and the Lewis and Clark Trail, to name a few of his odysseys.
Stopping for a stay atop Flagg Mountain, he has shared his stories and presence with those who have visited.
This week Eberhart began a new odyssey – what he is calling “Bama to Baxter.” He left Flagg Mountain, the southernmost mountain in the Appalachian, to hike the Pinhoti Trail through Northeast Alabama into Georgia, where he will pick up the Appalachian Trail on Springer Mountain in Georgia to travel by foot to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. On this adventure he will hike through 15 states for a total of 2,620 miles.
It is possible that Eberhart will return to resume his caretaker duties on Flagg Mountain once this journey is complete, but in the meantime Deforest Tuggle, a.k.a. “Sparkles,” an Alexander City native, will take on the caretaker duties.
Eberhart will be missed by all those who visit the mountain.
Jodi McDade, member of the Alabama Hiking Trail Society who is heavily involved with missions at Flagg Mountain, stated about Eberhart: “At 82 years old, he still has the twinkle in his eyes of grand adventures both past, present and future while he encourages all ages to get out and enjoy the outdoors around us. He is an example of how to live life to the fullest with only a minimum of worldly possessions, but with an abundance of freedom.”
When asked what his favorite part of being a caretaker on the mountain has been, Eberhart replied, “The people, it’s always the people! What a joy it’s been meeting and greeting folks on Flagg.”
Eberhart describes Flagg Mountain this way: “There’s an unexplainable energy associated with (emitted from) the mountain. Most everyone that comes to Flagg can sense and ‘feel’ its presence. There’s involved another medium, which our physical senses cannot detect.”
Eberhart is also a published author who has documented his travels. He publishes regularly on his blog/website for others to follow his adventures. To keep up with his current odyssey go to https://nimblewillnomad.com.
Flagg Mountain offers hiking trails, two cabins and primitive campsites for visitors to enjoy. The historic fire tower that sits atop the highest point will soon be getting a new staircase so that visitors can ascend it and observe the lower Appalachains.
There are plans underway to build a gravel parking lot and a pedestrian trail up to the tower.
A bathhouse for visitors has been completed, but is in need of a water supply. Plans are to begin working towards acquiring this water source soon.
Cabin rentals are available at this time for Friday and Saturday nights only for families. One of the cabins with a bathroom is priced at $90 for both nights, and the other available cabin without a bathroom is priced at $70 for the weekend.
Anyone interested in getting involved at Flagg Mountain, or wishing to make cabin reservations, should contact Tuggle at 256-223-3990.
To stay up to date on upcoming projects and adventures, join “Friends of Flagg” on Facebook.
Isn’t it time to get back to nature and take in all the beauty that Coosa has to offer?