Today Phil took another Friday off and we hiked a new section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail. This section merged with the Shut-In Trail where we began at the Pisgah Mountain Trail parking lot and headed north.
- Distance: 3.6 Miles
- Elevation Gain: 1364′
- Difficulty: Strenuous (very steep)
The trail immediately started up, gaining 300′ feet of elevation in just a few hundred yards. After that, it is mostly down hill to Elk Pasture Gap. We hiked along the ridge among huge Chestnut Oaks.
This spring has been really wet. We are 10″ above normal for rainfall, and the wildflowers have bloomed out everywhere. On this particular ridge, the bluets carpeted large sections. White painted trillium was at it’s peak. We walked through large sections of trillium patches.
So, the first half of the hike, I was preoccupied with all the lovely blooms, trees and the view. What I didn’t realize was that we were going steeply down hill. We got to Elk Pasture Ridge in about an hour. Then … we turned around to walk back up the trail to the car. IT WAS STEEP!
We do a lot of hiking in the mountains and all of the trails have ups and downs and difficult sections, but this trail was really steep without letting up. But, it was only a couple of miles, so it was doable. It was a good workout. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get back up the trail to the car. We treated ourselves to candy bar at the Pisgah Store. 🙂