Hike Reports 12/2/20

---------- All Day Wednesday Hikes----------


WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-051	Jan. 25
Hickey Fork - Whiteoaks Flats - Pounding Mill	*8:30 AM
Hike 8, Drive 85, 1900 ft ascent, Rated B-A
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
*Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at US 25 / NC 208 intersection at 9:10 AM. Starting at a splendid 
new footbridge over Hickey Fork, we'll do a nice loop hike using three different trails and finishing on newly and 
heavily rebuilt Hickey Fork Rd.  
Topos: White Rock, Greystone; also NatGeo. map #782

This is a beautiful hike in a natural, wild, and peaceful setting.  Hickey Falls was very full and rushing with outstanding splendor!!
On two occasions along the way, we heard the thundering noise of the flight of ruffed grouse that had been hiding in the brush. The hunter that we eventually ran into did not have any in his sack, though.
Pretty views of the mountains were abound on the glorious sunny day!!
Tish Desjardins

WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-268	Feb. 1
Hospital Rock - Rainbow Falls	*8:30 AM
Hike 8, Drive 95, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Brenda Worley, 828-684-8656, cell: 828-606-7297, clworley@bellsouth.net
WC100  *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Cracker Barrel at Exit 53 of I-26 at 9:00 AM. This is an 
interesting hike in Jones Gap State Park in S.C. Hiking steeply up past Hospital Rock, we will enjoy a great view 
at lunchtime from Pretty Place. After lunch we will walk along a road for a short distance, then turn steeply downhill 
past beautiful Rainbow Falls onto a trail down to the river and back to our cars. Note:  $2 person parking fee at 
trailhead.  Topos: Cleveland, Standingstone Mtn.; also Mountain Bridge Wilderness Map.

    Seven people came out for this beautiful hike.  We got on the 
trail at 9:50am and got back to our cars at 3:30pm.  The day was 
warm, sunny in the morning, turned cloudy later in the day.  We had 
light rain the last two miles of the hike.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the 
challenge this hike provides as well as the two beautiful waterfalls 
and the exceptional view from Pretty Place where we had lunch.


WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-041	Feb. 8
Sugar Cove Trail to Mackey Mountain	*8:10 AM
Hike 11.5, Drive 57, 2900 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+
Barbara Morgan, 828-738-3395, cell: 828-460-7066, Barbc129@gmail.com
*Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at  Ingles Parking Lot off Exit 64 of I-40 at 8:30 AM. We'll take 
the Sugar Cove Creek Trail and turn onto Mackey Mountain Trail to Mackey Mountain where we will enjoy great 
winter views from the Mackey Mountain ridge.  We will return to our cars via the same trails.  Topo: Old Fort; 
also NatGeo Map #779

 Eight of us had a great day hiking Sugar Cove Trail up to the Curtis Creek Road and then on to the summit of Mackey Mountain in McDowell County.  The weather offered a little of everything - a few spits of rain as we parked, overcast skies, some flurries, and sun and clouds in the afternoon.  We were generating a lot of heat hiking, so the 45 degree temperature felt great.

 We enjoyed views of Sugar Cove Creek as we wound our way to the ridge, using an old roadbed.  The Mackey Mountain trail offers a lot of variety in easy-to-very difficult hiking, with lots of views off both sides of the ridge.  All agreed that it works best as a winter hike to take advantage of the leaves being off the trees.

WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-330	Feb. 8
Raven Cliff Falls	*8:30 AM
Hike 8, Drive 95, 1450 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Stuart English, 828-883-2447, stuengo@comporium.net
WC100  *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo side parking lot at 9:05 AM. We'll 
do a pleasant walk to the pedestrian bridge over the top of a beautiful 250 ft. waterfall in Caesar's Head St. 
Park in S.C. The hike will follow the Raven Cliff Falls Trail and a portion of the Foothills Trail to the bridge, and 
then return with a side trip to the spectacular overlook of the falls and Matthew Creek Gorge.  Topo: Table Rock; 
also Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area trail map.

 9 hikers including the leader met at Pisgah Forest Bi Lo for this one and
 carpooled to the Jones Gap-Caesar's Head State Park parking lot just below
 Caesar's Head in South Carolina. In the morning it was cloudy and drizzly
 there were no views from the ridge. We climbed down to the falls at 11:30
 and had lunch on the suspension bridge over the spectacular waterfalls over
 Mathew Creek. Then the sun came out and suddenly there was blue sky. We had
 a beautiful ridge walk back along the edge of the escarpment looking out
 into the Piedmont of South Carolina. We stopped at the overlook platform for
 a look at the Falls from a different perspective and took a group picture.
 At one point, we could see the tall buildings of Greenville in the distance.
 It was a day this hike leader will long remember. Stuart         

WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-209	Feb. 15
Buckwheat Knob - Coontree Loop	10:00 AM
Hike 8, Drive 67, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Laura Frisbie, 828-337-5845, laurafrisbie@charter.net
P400  From the trailhead at Coontree Picnic area, we'll climb along beautiful Coontree Creek through open forest 
up to Bennett Gap and on to Buckwheat Knob for lunch, then return via the other segment of the Coontree loop. 
This is a moderate woodland hike with exceptional views from the ridgeline. Second meeting place: Coontree Picnic 
area at 10:40 AM.  Topo: Shining Rock; also NatGeo Map #780

WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-530	Feb. 22
Bent Creek #10: Stradley Mtn. via Rice Pinnacle	*9:00 AM
Hike 8, Drive 25, 900 ft. ascent, Rated  B-C
Keiko Merl, 828-628-2396, keikomerl@bellsouth.net
P400  *Only meeting place: Ingles across from Biltmore Square Mall on NC 191. This moderate hike is in the 
eastern part of Stradley Mountain. It is probably a new hike for most. Great views of Hominy Valley. We will return 
by Boyd Branch and Deer Lake Lodge Trail.
Scout Report:

----------Half Day Weekend Hikes----------


HALF-DAY NO. H1201-485	Jan. 22
Old U.S. 70 and the Railroad	12:00 PM
Hike 5, Drive 60, 200 ft ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Sawako Jager, 828-687-2547, Baiko70@aol.com
We will walk down (gentle grade) old U.S. 70, Point Lookout Trail, from Swannanoa Gap with a side trip to see 
an unknown Confederate soldier's grave. We will enjoy a view of the valley, railroad and tunnel featured in 
"The Road" by John Ehle, a book about building the railroad up to Swannanoa Gap. Car shuttle. Second meeting 
place: Ingles parking lot off Exit 64 of I-40 at 12:20 PM.  Topos: Old Fort, Black Mountain. 

The weather forecast did not discourage 11 hikers including two new guests. Shivering cold (40 F) temps and dense fog met us at the Point Lookout upper trailhead. Even though Point Lookout where we had lunch/snack was obliterated by thick fog, the cheerful group chatted happily as we walked our way checking out the tunnels and an unknown soldier's grave. Addition to the hike write-up, we dropped by Andrews Geyser Park and Becky, our sweep, lead hikers to explore the trail further up to Kudzu Fields while waiting for the drivers to retrieve shuttle cars. Many thanks to Bev M. for greeting hikers at the second meeting place, Becky S. for sweeping and Renate R. for baking delicious cookies to share with us! Warm hearts of everyone made this a mystical outing!
Sawako Jager


HALF-DAY NO. H1201-751	Jan. 29
Bent Creek Loop #13 - The "Other Side" of Bent Creek 	*12:30 PM
Hike 6.2, Drive 22, 1100 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Nonmembers, call leader: Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
P400 *Only meeting place: Ingles on Brevard Rd. A pleasant hike on the sunny side of Bent Creek begins with an 
uphill hike on Laurel Branch Rd., Sidehill Trail and Little Hickory Top Trail to Ingles Field Gap. We'll then head downhill 
on Ingles Field Gap Trail and Ledford Branch Rd. Short car shuttle. Topos: Asheville, Skyland
A beautiful, almost warm, sunny day and the featured outdoor adventure of the week in the Citizen-Times so no surprise that 33 people showed up for this hike in Bent Creek. Because the number of hikers would have posed a logistic nightmare for the planned car shuttle the hike was changed slightly to be a 6+ mile loop from Bent Creek Road to Ingles Field Gap and back down using various trails and forest roads. We split into faster and not-as-fast groups with Sawako Jager leading the former and me leading the latter. Dick Zimmerer served as sweep for the first group and Stu English helped herd my group. (Thanks guys!) In addition to being the featured in the paper, C-T photographer Colby accompanied us on part of the hike. So look for hiker pictures in future articles. Thanks to all of the hikers for their patience, good nature and appreciation of the hike and each other. This link should take you to a map of the hike route and pictures from the hike.

HALF-DAY NO. H1201-434Feb. 5
Laurel Mountain Trail *12:30 PM
Hike 5.4, Drive 70, 950 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Greg Goodman, 828-684-9703, greggoodman@bellsouth.net
P400 *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at N. Mills River Rec. Area parking lot at 1:00 PM. This loop hike will start at FS 1206, hike along a ridge trail toward Black Mountain, and return via the Laurel Mountain Trail. There should be good views of the Mills River Valley. Topo: Dunsmore Mtn.; also NatGeo map #780


HALF-DAY NO. H1201-294 Feb. 12 Picklesimer Fields 12:30 PM
Hike 5, Drive 72, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Stuart English, 828-883-2447, stuengo@comporium.net
P400 Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Pisgah Fish Hatchery at 1:15 PM. In-and-out hike from the Fish Hatchery. We'll take Butter Gap Trail to Grogan's Creek Falls and possibly farther, depending on weather. Topo: Shining Rock

This weekend was probably the coldest of the year. A friend that had gone to Westgate for me told me that not only was there nobody there, but that he wasn't coming either. When I arrived at the Fish Hatchery, it was in the 30s, sunny, and no wind. There were two hikers there and we did the hike. One hiker was our old friend Tom Joyce and the other was Kate, a new prospective member from near Boone, who is considering moving to this area. We visited both waterfalls, walked through Picklesimer Fields and once again proved the old adage that there is no such thing as a bad hike. Stuart   

HALF-DAY NO. H1201-579 Feb. 19 Lover's Leap - Pump Gap Loop 12:30 PM
Hike 4.3, Drive 70, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Nonmembers, call leader: Laura Frisbie, 828-337-5845 laurafrisbie@charter.net
Begin with hike up AT to Lover's Leap with views of Hot Springs and French Broad River. Continue on AT to first intersection with PumpGap Trail for return. Not recommended for beginning hikers. Second meeting place: Rose's parking lot in Weaverville off I-26 at 12:45 PM. Topo: Hot Springs

HALF-DAY NO. H1201-431 Feb. 26 Chestnut Cove to MST to Sleepy Gap to Explorer Trail *12:30 PM
Hike 5, Drive 20, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Joe Burchfield, 828-338-0443, burchfield@niu.edu
P400 *only meeting place: Ingles parking lot across from Biltmore Square Mall on NC 191. This loop hike begins with a moderately steep climb from the Bent Creek Gap Road to the MST, but is otherwise an easy walk. Topo: Dunsmore Mtn.