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Category Archive for: ‘Trails’

LeConte 2017  Hawksbill

November 9, 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 …

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Grassy Mtn via Trail 119

October 9, 2017

Grassy Mtn Via Skidway Campground Distance: 5.0 Miles Elevation Gain: 1575 ft. Difficulty: Strenuous (very steep) Park at the back gate boundary of Skidway campground. Follow the forestry road from there all of the way to the top of Grassy Mountain. The road meanders through the forest for awhile and then opens up in a beautiful meadow with a gorgeous …

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Skyline Trailhead

September 9, 2017

Skyline Trail 2.0 Miles Round Trip from Exclamation Point – Elevation Gain: 472′ After several years of closure, the Skyline Trail was re-opened in September of 2017. Apparently, the original trail was closed after a toddler fell to its death.  Since then, the trail has been re-routed and fencing was added at the top of Hickory Nut Falls to keep …

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MTS Little Sam 071517  11

July 15, 2017

Park where the Mountains to the Sea Trail intersects Hwy 215 north of the Blueridge Parkway and hike east on the Mountains to the Sea Trail. Hike a little over 2 miles and fork left on Little Sam Knob trail. Hike for approximately 1.5 miles to the intersection of the Flat Laurel Creek Trail and take a left. Hike back …

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Pilot Rock 070917  6

Pilot Rock from Pisgah Inn Parking Lot

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2016 04 17 Sam Knob 2

April 17, 2017

Sam’s Knob From Asheville, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway south for 26.5 miles past the NC 191 Parkway access. Turn right on FR 816 (Black Balsam Road) just past milepost 420; a sign reads “Black Balsam”. Follow this road to the end at the parking area. The parking lot gets crowded quickly on weekends, so plan to arrive early if …

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Pisgah Inn Hitching Post

April 9, 2017

We were staying at the Inn and wanted to do a small little walk after breakfast. We weren’t in the market for a strenuous hike, and this trail gives the advantage of being able to bite off little bits without and a really big commitment. We started at the hitching post and walked nearly a mile down Buck Springs trail …

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JohnRock 1 1

February 15, 2017

Park at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery near Brevard. The John Rock trail can be accessed  from either direction from the parking lot. Counterclockwise isn’t quite as steep going up on the rock and the hike along the creek going in is beautiful and serene. The elevation gain is gradual and note too strenuous. …

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Chimney Rock

February 10, 2017

It was a sunny day in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s, my favorite hiking weather.  I parked in the upper parking lot and started my hike in the middle.  First, I  climbed the stairs to the Chimney and then onto the Devil’s Head and up to Exclamation Point. It isn’t very far, but almost every step is on stairs. …

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CollegeM 1

July 5, 2016

The view of Bozeman is breathtaking and it is well worth the hike. Note to self: make sure to carry water. The trail is almost totally exposed and it can get really hot in the summer. I set off with heavy boots and my feet were HOT. The sun is daunting and although this is a really short hike, the …

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Mt. Hardy

May 30, 2016

Mt. Hardy We parked at the Rough Butt Bald overlook and walked across the parkway to the trail. Note to self:  It was really weedy.  Put this hike on the rotation for Labor Day Through Mother’s Day. Another note to self: watch for yellow jacket nests in the trail.

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2016 04 30 Flat Laurel Creek 12

April 30, 2016

Total Distance: 5.3 Miles RT Total Elevation Gain: 679 ft. Highest Point: 5935 ft. We parked at the Black Balsam Trailhead parking lot and walked down the road to the Sam Knob Trail to start the loop.  

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Bluet Cluster

March 28, 2016

We caught the timing right to see the bluets! Their seeds wash into rock crevices and the sides of the trail where they are caught by brush and plants.  They are one of my very favorite wildflowers. Their blooms are no larger than a dime and look like little blue stars.

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MTS StonyBaldOverlook

March 28, 2016

Stoney Bald Overlook to Elk Pasture Gap This segment of the Mountain to the Sea Trail is fairly easy walk in the woods. This particular day, there were more trillium blooming than I’ve ever seen on a trail. It took longer because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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2016 03 26 Avery Creek Loop 28

March 26, 2016

This is a very hard hike.  What makes it hard is the elevation gain … going down hill … and having to re-climb the same 500 feet … over and over. In my opinion, it is easier to hike counter-clockwise. You climb a lot of the elevation early in the hike while you are still fresh. We’ve hiked it clockwise, …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Chimney 3

March 24, 2016

It was another great day at Chimney Rock. I feel so fortunate that this is practically in my backyard. I keep taking the same pictures each time I go.  I guess I keep thinking that each view is prettier than it was the day before. I thought I’d at least get pictures of the birdhouses that document some of the species …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Birdhouses 6

March 24, 2016

BIRDWATCHING I’ve walked by these birdhouses for years and not really paid much attention to them. Today, I thought I’d take a picture of each one. Each birdhouse highlights a species common on the state park property. Last year, there was a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons up on the cliff ledges. The local bird societies were keeping track of …

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2015 06 Redbuds 1

March 21, 2016

REDBUDS I guess I’m trying to make up for sitting on my butt all winter, but over the past 8 days, I have hiked 22 miles!  That is 22 MOUNTAIN miles, folks.  My legs feel like noodles.  Going straight up steps or up steep grades isn’t easy and I realize just how much fitness I have lost since last November. …

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Avery Creek Loop

March 19, 2016

Pressley Cove Trail is accessed from Avery Creek Road (Forest Service Road #477). Beginning at 2325 ft. of elevation, the trail climbs steeply for 1.1 miles ( 968 ft. elevation gain) to Forest Service Rd #5022. Turn right onto the road and walk for .2 miles to Pressley Gap, elevation 3328 ft.  

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2016 Mar17 CRSP 1

March 17, 2016

So, during my workout hike at Chimney Rock State Park, I counted 1322 steps on the main trails leading from the Lower Parking Lot at the ticket booth to the very top at Exclamation Point.  This does not include a few “detours” through the “Subway”and “The Outcroppings.” [pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right”]1322 STEPS TO TOP![/pullquote3]I had counted the stairs a few years ago, before …

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2016 Mar CRSP  10

March 11, 2016

Getting Back in the Swing of Things The beautiful, spring-like weather was very welcome after a busy, rainy winter. We haven’t had good weather on our off days that have allowed us to keep up our hiking routine. The BRP is still closed for the winter, but Chimney Rock is close to home and open. My hike was just limited to …

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2016 Jan ThompsonDivide  7

January 30, 2016

The Thomas Divide trailhead is near the NC/TN border on the Smoky Mountains Parkway. It is a gentle trail that runs the ridge from the parkway out to Kanati Fork Junction. The elevation change is gradual and the hike is relatively short. This is a great little hike for small children and newbies.

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Mt. LeConte TN

November 12, 2015

Trip #24, November 12-14, 2015  

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Sacajawea Peak

September, 2010

This was our first hike up Sacajawea Peak.  Looking up from the parking lot wasn’t so daunting. However, after we hiked through the woods to the bottom of the scree field, looking up gave me vertigo.  I wasn’t so sure I could hike up such a steep, exposed trail. But, I kept going and I’m glad I did. The pictures …

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2015 Sacajewea L 1

September, 2015

Great hike up Sacajawea Peak. The weather was warm and extremely windy at the top. We were seriously in danger of being blown off the mountain. It was still scary the last 1/4 mile up the spire.

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