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2018 Hiking Log

My 2018 Hiking Goal is 450 miles! Most of my hikes are in and near western North Carolina with a few iconic hikes while traveling. Follow my progress.

Lastsection Pressleycove

Pressley Cove Trail

Pressley Cove Trail to Pressley Gap Distance: 2.6 miles round trip Elevation Gain: 1003 ft. 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 …

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RB L Jan112015 3

Rumbling Bald

Distance: 1.5 Miles RT Elevation Gain: 315′ Difficulty: Easy to Moderate The Rumbling Bald trail in Hickory Nut Gorge isn’t quite finished yet. At present, it is developed for the first mile with a wide gravel trail through the woods. The rest of the loop is there, so we walked it all the way around, but it is a little rough …

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Sacajawea51

Sacajawea Peak

To Trailhead: From Main St., Bozeman MT, take N. Rouse Ave.; merges into Bridger Canyon Dr. (MT 86). In about 21 mi., L onto Fairy Lake Rd., which dead-ends @ campground. Pass through campground to trailhead. Stats: Elevation: 9665′ at Summit Distance: 4.4 Miles RT Elevation Change: 1955 feet Difficulty: Strenuous Details: Sacajawea Peak is a “must-do” hike up the highest …

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Sam Knob

Sam Knob

Total Distance: 2.6 Miles Out and Back (my gps measurement) Total Elevation Gain: 383′ (my gps measurement) *Note:  Several online sources list elevation gains ranging from 380′ to over 500′. The Ramblr app on my iphone calculated the above measurements. So, that is what I’m going with. Directions From Asheville, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway south for 26.5 miles past …

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Sam Knob

Sam’s Knob

Park on Hwy 215 north of the parkway and hike east on the Mountains to the Sea Trail. Fork left on Little Sam Knob trail and intersect the Flat Laurel Creek Trail. Hike back down to Hwy 215. Distance: 6.5 miles RT Elevation Change: 750 feet Difficulty: Easy

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Elk Pasture Gap

Shut-In Trail

Around 1890, the Shut-In trail was created by George W. Vanderbilt to link his Biltmore home with his hunting and outdoor lodge at Buck Springs (Near the current Pisgah Inn). While many think of this trail as following the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s actually the other way around, since the parkway wasn’t built until the 1930’s. Since it does parallel …

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MTS StonyBaldOverlook

Stony 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. Distance: 6 miles RT Elevation Gain: 700 ft. Difficulty: Easy

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Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park has an extensive trail system and is the access point to the Foothills Trail. The trails are as follows (not round trip): Nature Center – beginning – elevation 1160′ Carrick Creek Loop – 1.9 Miles – Mill Creek Pass – .6 Mile Pinnacle Mountain Trail – 4.1 Miles – elevation 3425′ Ridge Trail – 1.9 Miles …

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2016 Jan ThompsonDivide  9

Thomas Divide Trail to Kanati Fork Junction

Distance: 3.8 Miles RT Elevation Change: 722 feet Difficulty: Easy 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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Trombatore Trail

Trombatore Trail

Distance: 5.4 Miles RT Elevation Gain: 1246′ Difficulty: Moderate Trailhead Parking: Take Hwy 64 east from 1-26 in Hendersonville, NC. About 2 1/2 miles past I-26, turn left on Fruitland Rd. Next, turn left on Old Clear Creek Rd go only a few hundred yards and turn right on Bearwallow Mountain Rd. Follow Bearwallow Mountain Road and after a few miles, …

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Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia /ɡeɪˈlɑːrdiə/ Gaillardia is a member of the sunflower and is common in North and South America.  The common name refers to the resemblance of the color to Native American blankets. It grows wild on our Montana property and the surrounding area.

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Mt LeConte, Tn Family Trip

November 11, 1999

The last time our family got to go on the annual trip to Mt Leconte was November, 1999. How could this be? Time just goes by so fast. It seems like yesterday. Our boys went on to live their own lives and we’ve just never gotten a chance to get them back up the mountain. Time passages …

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Painted Trillium

Trillium

Trillium is such a beautiful and delicate spring flower. The most common color in the Blue Ridge and Smokys is white. Pink and Red are pretty, too, but harder to find. Plants of this genus are perennial herbs growing from rhizomes. They produce scapes which are erect and straight in most species. There are three large bracts arranged in a whorl about the scape. There …

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Mtnlaurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel bloom late spring – early summer in Western North Carolina in the wooded high altitudes. Their blooms are a delicate washed out pink with darker veining within the bloom.

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Common Blue Violet

Violets

The leaves of this tiny little spring flower identify it to us as a violet. It grows in wet wooded areas and can be purple, white or yellow.      

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Halberd-Leaved Violet

Halberd-Leaved Violet

Viola hastata, commonly known as the halberd-leaved yellow violet, is a perennial plant in the violet family found in the eastern United States. It blooms from March to May with yellow flowers. It one of the “stemmed” violets because its leave are all on an above ground stem. It is easily recognized because of it’s arrowhead shaped leaves that are …

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Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy

“Gill-over-the-Ground” Mint Family Flowers are 1/2-3/4″ long 2-lipped, the lower lip with 3 lobes and 4 stamens that do not protrude. The leaves are 1;2-1 1/2″ long with  wavy, margined edges.

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Carolina Spring Beauty

Carolina Spring Beauty

Claytonia caroliniana, the Carolina springbeauty, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Montiaceae. Its native range is eastern and central North America from Newfoundland west to Ontario, Minnesota, and the Ozarks and south as far as northern Alabama. Claytonia caroliniana is a perennial herb producing spherical underground tubers. Its flowers are white or pink, sometimes with the two colors together …

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Witch Hobble

Witch Hobble

Viburnum lantanoides (commonly known as hobble-bush, witch-hobble, alder-leaved viburnum, American wayfaring tree,[2] and moosewood[3]) is a perennial shrub of the family Adoxaceae (formerly in the Caprifoliaceae), growing 2–4 meters (6–12 ft) high with pendulous branches that take root where they touch the ground. These rooted branches form obstacles which easily trip (or hobble) walkers – hence the common name. The …

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Mountain Doghobble

Mountain Doghobble

“Leucothoe fontanesiana, the highland doghobble, fetter-bush, mountain doghobble or switch ivy, is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, native to the southeastern United States. It is an erect evergreen shrub growing to 1–2 m (3–7 ft) tall by 3 m (10 ft) broad, with laurel-like glossy leaves 6–16 cm (2–6 in) long, and pendent axillary racemes of …

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Pink Shell Azalea

Rhododendron vaseyi is a species of flowering plant in the heath family known by the common name pinkshell azalea. It is endemic to North Carolina in the United States, where it is known only from the southern Appalachians in and near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This deciduous shrub may grow up to 5 meters (almost 17 feet) in height. …

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"If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." --- Yogi Berra