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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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) ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Total distance||636 km395 mi|
|Max distance||334 km208 mi|
|Avg distance||23 km14 mi|
|Total duration||5 days 4h:24m|