Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Mountain Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Today was a very short hike up the right fork of the Coon Tree Trail.  We only hiked to the ridge junction and turned around and hiked down.  Nice day in low 40’s.  The trail was muddy and there were a lot of trees down after the wind and ice storms last month.

We passed several women on the trail. Only one man and his wife were finishing up as we got started.

The creeks were up.  There is a lot of water running out of the mountains right now. The ground is real squishy.

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Loop

Finally! A sunny day on a weekend!

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Falls

We finally got some good weather to go hiking.  The high today was in the mid to upper 40’s and the sun was shining.  That is my favorite hiking weather.

Last year, our logged hiking miles were abysmal. It was a rainy year and we had a lot of family and health issues that got in the way. This year, I will strive to do better.

Today’s Hike

  • Distance: 5 Miles
  • Elevation: 827
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Today, we hiked the Daniel Ridge Loop near Brevard, NC.  It is a gentle trail without a lot of elevation gain. You walk around the creek for half of the hike and it is one of the more beautiful creeks in western NC. It is actually the north fork of the Davison River.  But, it is actually creek sized.

View of Cold Mountain

Mt. Pisgah

3 mi round-trip

Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Climb: Climbs Moderately
Lowest Elevation: 4980
Highest Elevation: 5730
Total Elevation Gain: 750
Configuration: Out-and-back
Starting Point: Mount Pisgah Parking Area, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 407.6

Pisgah Inn View
Pisgah Inn View
View Downtown Asheville
View Downtown Asheville
Bear Poop
Bear Poop
Tower on Mt Pisgah
Tower on Mt Pisgah
View of Cold Mountain
View of Cold Mountain

Mt. LeConte, 2017

Trail:  Alum Cave

Trip # 27 – November 9 – 22, 2017

  • Trail: Alum Cave Trail
  • Hiking Time Going Up: 3 hours 7 minutes
  • Hiking Time Coming Down: 2 hours 15 minutes

This year we decided to hike up and down Alum Cave Trail. Due to trail closures, we haven’t gotten to hike this trail many times in the past few years. We got on the trail a little later than usual (around 11 am). It was very foggy with a heavy mist — just enough to get soaked.

Hurricane Irma had come through the Smokys a few weeks earlier and we found a lot of damage. There were lots of trees that had been blown over and these trees snapped other trees as they fell. Just from what we could see from the trail, there must have been over 30 downed trees. Crews had done a great job, however, on getting the trees cut away and the trail reopened.

Our hike up was a steady slog through the mist. There were no views through the fog.

At the top, our cabin was warm from the lp heater and we quickly changed into dry clothes and went to the dinning hall to get coffee and hot chocolate.

Friday was a beautiful day. We had breakfast and then walked out to Myrtle Point. It was warm on the rocks and a bit out of the wind. We also walked down Rainbow Falls trail to the Bullhead Junction. Our goal was to see if we could get part of the way down the Bullhead to see the fire damage from last year but we couldn’t get past the trail junction. Then, we hiked the loop to Chimney Tops.  It was beginning to get crowded on the rock face so we didn’t stay for the sunset.

We got on the trail early Saturday. It was game day after all. We made it home in plenty of time before the 3:30 kickoff of the Clemson game.

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Personal Best Week of Hiking

This past week, I hiked more miles than ever in a single week.  Of course, it was LeConte week, so the 16.2 miles going in and out to LeConte helped to rack it up.

My total miles hiked this week: 36.1
Total elevation gain this week: 7961′

MT. LECONTE TO NEWFOUND GAP

Via The Boulevard Trail and the Appalachian Trail

Novermber 12, 2016

  • Total Distance: 8.1
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1272′
  • Difficulty:  Difficult to Strenuous

MYRTLE POINT, MT. LECONTE, TN

November 11, 2016

  • Total Distance: 1.5 Miles
  • Total Elevation Gain: 330′
  • Difficulty: Moderate

ALUM CAVE TRAIL (TOP OF MOUNTAIN ONLY)

November 11, 2016

  • Total Distance 2.7 Miles
  • Total Elevation Gain: 657
  • Difficulty: Moderate

NEWFOUND GAP TO MT. LECONTE, TN

via Appalachian Trail and The Boulevard Trail

November 10, 2016

  • Total Distance: 8.1 Miles
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2466′
  • Difficulty: Difficult to Strenuous

CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK

November 9, 2016

  • Total Distance: 3.9 Miles RT
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1080′

MT. PISGAH

November 8, 2016

  • Distance: 3 Miles
  • Elevation Change: 750′

CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK

November 7, 2016

  • Total Distance: 3.9 Miles RT
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1080′

DANIEL RIDGE LOOP

November 6, 2016

  • Distance: 4.9
  • Elevation Gain: 326′
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate