The hike today was one that we have done a couple of times and kept us up high (over 5,000′ in elevation) for the duration of the hike. It is always cooler the higher up we go, so on those hot and humid days, it is good to hike as high as possible.
We parked on Hwy 215 north of the parkway and hiked east on the Mountains to the Sea Trail. We forked left on Little Sam Knob trail and intersected the Flat Laurel Creek Trail and hiked back down to Hwy 215. We calculate that the hike was 6.5 miles with approximately 750′ of elevation gain. I would rate this hike as relatively easy.
The trail was rocky with lots of roots during the first 2/3 of the hike. The uneven footing is rough on the ankles. My ankle is still tender from the injury last May. By the time we crossed the creek I was ready to take off my boots and soak my ankle in the cold water of the creek. It was REAL COLD!!
Fun on the Creek
As we crossed a creek, it was obvious that a few kids had been there earlier. They left little rock cairns in the water. As we got closer, we noticed that a crawdad had been placed on top of one of the rocks. Boys, obviously had left their mark 🙂
It looks like it is going to be a spectacular year for the Mountain Ash berries thanks to all of the rain. Their color is beginning to turn to brilliant red and the trees are hanging full of berries.