Trips Explore

Hike at Hanging Rock for park's 75th Anniversary 2011-10-08 8.5 km5.3 mi 3h:10m 9 photos

Wild berries Lake, with Bathhouse on opposite shore Hanging Rock Lake Harley Jolley and a CCC veteran Map

I did the classic Moore's Knob Loop with a diversion around the shore of Hanging Rock Lake. The park is celebrating its 75th anniversary, so I went along to join the festivities. I doubled back through the campground to find the trail and continued the loop. Trip Writeup at Two-Heel Drive.

8-mile hike at McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail 2011-07-10 14 km8.7 mi 5h:38m 15 photos

Trail bridges 3.4 miles to McAfee Knob Some flowers still blooming Catawba Mountain sign Map

Eight-mile out-and-back to McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail near Roanoke, Virginia.This is one of the most famous overlooks on the Appalachian Trail. The hike is a bit grueling -- around four miles and 1,100 feet of elevation gain (my GPS unit logged over 2100 feet of ascent) -- but the views are definitely worth it.

Blood Montain and Neels Gap on the Appalachian Trail 2011-06-18 12.9 km8 mi 6h:00m 14 photos

One of the two resident cats Mountain Crossings sign Mountain Crossings Hiker Hostel Mountain Crossings Map

Strenuous loop hike to Blood Mountain summit along Appalachian Trail and Freeman Trail, with stopover at Neels Gap and Mountain Crossings.Trip writeup at Two Heel Drive.

Note you can't park at Neels Gap; you have to park about a half-mile north on U.S. 129 at B.H. Reese Trailhead.

Max Patch to Roaring Fork, Appalachian Trail 2011-06-11 12.1 km7.5 mi 4h:07m 13 photos

Roaring Fork Shelter Wild daisy? Birdhouse at Max Patch Flame azalea on Max Patch Loop Map

Day hike along the Appalachian Trail, starting at the Max Patch Trailhead and continuing to Roaring Fork, then returning. Hike writeup to come at Two-Heel Drive.

Max Patch is the highest point for miles around -- making it very dangerous to be there in a lightning storm. Take the side trails and skip the summit if the weather looks stormy.

High Points Loop at Hanging Rock State Park 2011-05-15 13.2 km8.2 mi 4h:42m 12 photos

Mountain laurel in bunches Rhododendron in full bloom Raindrops on a leaf Rhododendron after petals have fallen Map

This is a pretty cool loop, starting near the Hanging Rock lake and heading up to Moore's Knob, then going down and heading back up to the parallel ridge and finally capping it off with a jaunt to Hanging Rock and returning where I started from. (Funny how loops work that way).Trip writeup at Two-Heel Drive.

6.5-mile hike in Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest 2011-04-30 10.2 km6.3 mi 4h:48m 13 photos

Iris in Panthertown Valley North Road Trail junction Snail on the trail Panthertown Valley overlook Map

Excellent hike multiple waterfalls, wildflowers and scenery at Panthertown Valley in far southeaster North Carolina in the Nantahala National Forest. Trip writeup to come.

Buying a map is essential as many unmarked trails go to must-see locales.

Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park 2011-04-10 11.1 km6.9 mi 4h:19m 12 photos

Horsepasture River Rainbow Falls post Rainbow Falls Trail leaves the state park property Sign board art start of Rainbow Falls Trail Map

I hiked to Rainbow Falls on the west side of in Gorges State Park in Transylvania County, North Carolina. Note I only hiked to Rainbow Falls; there area  couple more waterfalls if you stay on the same trail. Hike writeup to come at Two-Heel Drive

Rainbow Falls generates lots of mist -- if you get to close you'll get soaked if it's really pouring, like after a major rainstorm goes through.

Cook's Wall at Hanging Rock State park 2011-04-03 3.6 km2.3 mi 1h:25m 6 photos

Tree rooted in a crack Shadow in the early morning sun Rocky outcrops Buds in the trees behind the old bathhouse Map

Out-and-back hike to Cook's Wall at Hanging Rock State Park -- note this hike is 2.3 miles one way (had a GPS unit burp this time out) so this track only shows half of the hike (shows the whole route, however).Trip write-up at Two-Heel Drive.

Be careful on the rocks, a fall would be terrible for your health.

Hike at Laurel Bluff Trail, Reedy Fork Trail, Greensboro Watershed 2011-03-26 11.3 km7.1 mi 3h:04m 15 photos

Plant on the forest floor Decrepit shack Bamboo along Laurel Bluff Trail Laurel Bluff Trail, southern trailhead Map

Nice moderate hike starting at the west end of Laurel Bluff Trail and returning via the Reedy Fork Trail. Trip write-up at Two Heel Drive.

Watch for mountain bikers on the Reedy Fork Trail. Note if you take Reedy Fork Trail from east to west -- you'll come to a road with arrows painted on the road pointing in the direction you've just come.

9-mile moderate hike at Raven Rock State Park 2011-03-19 14.9 km9.3 mi 4h:44m 20 photos

Steps down to Raven Rock Raven Rock Trail Sign Raven Rock Trailhead Raven Rock Visitors Center Map

Nice, easy-to-moderate hiking at Raven Rock State Park southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina. The famous Cape Fear River passes through the park, but there's not much to be fearful of. Trip write-up at Two-Heel Drive.

Watch for cliffs, slick rocks and mud by the river's edge. I almost slid into the river at Raven Rock.

6-mile moderate hike at DuPont State Forest 2011-03-13 10 km6.2 mi 2h:55m 14 photos

Lower section of Triple Falls Water in the creek Hang a left at Triple Falls Trail Look for the sign on the other side of the road Map

Nice hike to see some of North Carolina's most impressive waterfalls. Trip write-up to come at Two-Heel Drive.

Get there early on weekends, the parking lot fills up fast. The rivers and creeks are pouring like mad right now so it's a great time to check out Western North Carolina's waterfalls. Be super careful on the rocks next to the water... slips could get ugly.

Tanglewood Park, 4.6 mile hike on MTB Course 3 2010-07-25 7.4 km4.6 mi 1h:49m 15 photos

Obstacles Sun in the trees Tanglewood Park sign MTB Track No. 3 Map

Tanglewood Park has one of the nicest mountain biking courses in central North Carolina. I live near the park so I take my morning walks there; often I'll walk the MTB single-track trails on weekdays when few if any bikers are riding the trails. As far as I know this is the only GPS track available for Track No. 3, which is 4.6 miles long and has the most technical features.

Another hike at Pilot Mountain 2010-07-18 5.6 km3.5 mi 2h:43m 13 photos

Big Pinnacle Cliffs and farms Sauratown Mountains Sassafeas trail Map

Very warm day for hiking at Pilot Mountain State Park. i checked out the Sassafras Trail, a nice little nature walk with an excellent vista looking over the Sauratown Range. Trip writeup to come at Two-Heel Drive.

Bathrooms at the Summit parking lot are still under construction, which functionaly means no running water available at the summit. Porta-Potties have been set up.

Walk to top of Clingmans Dome 2010-07-11 2.4 km1.5 mi 1h:02m 10 photos

Loooking down from viewing tower Ramp to viewing tower Dead trees and sky Rock at start of path to Clingmans Dome Map

Stopped in on Clingmans Dome, a half-mile walk up a fairly steep paved path to see the 360-degree vistas from the viewing tower. Writeup at Two-Heel Drive.

The road to Clingmans Dome is closed in winter (December-March) and any other time weather warrants. Wind, rain, storms and blizzards can blow in very quickly -- at the very least make sure you've brought some rain gear.

Hiking and sightseeing at Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway 2010-07-02 10.1 km6.3 mi 3h:55m 17 photos

View from the overlook St. John's Wort? Mountain Laurel Craggy Pinnacle Trail Map

I went to the Craggy Gardens area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 20 mile north of Asheville, NC. I missed the rhododendron bloom by a few weeks, but there were still ample examples of local color and gnarled trees, two of my favorite things.Trip writeup at Two-Heel Drive

Best time to come is in early to mid-June, when the Rhododendron bloom is out in full force.

Grandfather Mountain -- Profile Trail to Calloway Peak 2010-06-26 10.9 km6.8 mi 6h:04m 15 photos

Shanty Spring More large stone overhangs Stone wall on Profile Trail White rhododenron on Profie Trail Map

Rugged hike from Profile Trail parking area to Calloway Peak at Grandfather Mountain State Park.This is from one of the two "free" trailheads (it costs $15 per person to drive to the top and hike the summit trails) -- note that if you think you're going to save $15 and hike all the summit trails too, you'd better be in extremely good physical condition (like a triathlete or something) ...

Dan River to Hanging Rock, 10-mile strenuous hike 2010-06-12 16.9 km10.5 mi 6h:06m 14 photos

Wet crossings Only wildflowers I saw Indian Creek Trail. Dan River Map

Long hot hike up the Indian Creek Trail from Dan River in Hanging Rock State Park. It's just under 4 miles up to the Hanging Rock Visitor Center parking lot, then a short, steep climb to Hanging Rock along the Hanging Rock Trail.The first two miles of Indian Creek Trail from the Dan River to the road leading into the park climb gently through thick forest -- nice hiking if you get an early start.

Grandfather Mountain -- Mile High Swinging Bridge and MacRea Peak 2010-06-05 7.1 km4.4 mi 5h:17m 19 photos

People on cliffs on far side of Swinging Bridge Bolt on the Mile High Swinging Bridge Mile High Swinging Bridge from the Far Side Rock overhang on Bridge Trail Map

Short moderate hike to Swinging Bridge followed by crazy-rugged 2.5-mile out-and-back to MacRea peak. Despite short distance, it's a very strenuous outing with multple ladder and cable ascents. Trip write-up at Two-Heel Drive

Be ready for anything at Grandfather Mountain (even bears). Weather can go bad on you very quickly, especially on summer afternoons.

Road Trip: Southern end of Blue Ridge Parkway 2010-05-23 334 km207.5 mi 7h:34m 9 photos

Budding rhododendron Waterfall near Graveyard Fields Perfect day Looking Glass Falls Map

We took a drive south of Asheville to check out the southernmost end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.Weather was gorgeous. We made a quick run up to Newfound Gap in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, took some pictures and headed for home. Trip writeup at Two-Heel Drive.

Track for this trip is way, way off in some areas as mountains and trees blocked the signal.

Tanglewood Park, easy 5-mile walk 2010-05-22 8.6 km5.4 mi 2h:16m 22 photos

photo5.jpg photo4.jpg photo3.jpg photo2.jpg Map

I ponied up my $4 for EveryTrail Pro -- works mostly as billed, though I did have one tracking freeze where it wouldn't resume tracking till after I rebooted my iPhone. My biggest gripe is with the iPhone camera, which seems to enjoy underexposing everything. By the way if you're a Tanglewood fan: trails are very muddy today.

Statistics Charts

coucoupouet coucoupouet
Trips 28
Photos 372
Total distance 636 km395 mi
Max distance 334 km208 mi
Avg distance 23 km14 mi
Total duration 5 days 4h:24m
Max duration 7h:34m
Avg duration 4h:26m

Find us on Facebook