Hike Reports 12/3/29

----------Wednesday Hikes----------

 



WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-750	Feb. 29
Bartram Trail through the Fishhawk Mtns. 	*8:00 AM
(Mountain Treasures Hike # 4)
Hike 11.2, Drive 160, 800 ft. ascent, Rated B-C
Jill Gottesman, cell: 828-545-5236, jill_gottesman@tws.org.
*Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Bryson Food Store parking lot, off NC 106 in Highlands, at 
9:30 AM. We will start at the Jones Gap Trailhead and hike north on the Bartram Trail to Doubletop fields, 
mostly along a ridgeline, returning via the same route. Highlights are the summits of Little Fishhawk Mountain 
and Wolf Rock, as well as clear winter views of the Cullasaja Valley, Whiterock Mountain, the Tessentee Valley, 
Scaly Mountain, Rabun Bald, and the Nantahala Mountains.  Topo: Scaly Mtn.; also Bartram Trail Map

     Hike was canceled due to thunderstorms.

 


WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-674	Mar. 7
Wayah Bald to Tellico Gap	8:00 AM
Hike 9.3 miles, Drive 190 miles, 1350 ft. ascent, Rated A-B
Janet Martin, 502-494-9309, jaykaymartin@msn.com
LTC  This hike along the AT begins at 5300 feet and proceeds north down to Burningtown Gap, then up to Copper 
Ridge Bald Trail, and then down again to reach Tellico Gap at 3800 feet.  The trail traverses the heart of the 
Nantahala National Forest with distant vistas during the winter season. Car shuttle.

    The weather was a pleasant surprise with moderate temperatures and no rain.  The AT, as always, was in very good condition. Hikers encountered a maintenance crew at work, several thru AT hikers,  and some hikers from Virginia completing a 50-miles loop on the Bartram Trail. Hike leader provided a bonus--four extra miles--which was prompted by a closed gate across the access road to Wayah Bald.  My apologies to the intrepid hikers who took the additional miles in stride, actually a couple thousand extra strides.    Janet Martin



WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-683	Mar. 14
Dupont Forest: Hooker Falls P.L. #2 - Five Falls Loop	8:30 AM
Hike 11.2, Drive 95, 1250 ft. ascent, Rated A-B
Danny Bernstein, 828-236-0192, danny@hikertohiker.com
WC100  This hike takes in five outstanding waterfalls and two cemeteries. On the way, we'll climb to a ridge in the 
forest that gets fewer visitors. The waterfalls ought to be spectacular right now. Second meeting place: Bi-Lo in 
Pisgah Forest at 9:05 AM.  Topo:  Standingstone Mtn.; also DuPont State Forest Map.

    Is it possible to write about Dupont Forest without showing pictures of its marvelous waterfalls?

    Here's the group after having walked almost 11 miles. And they're still smiling.

    We stopped at five waterfalls, two cemeteries and Imaging Lake. Yet I chose not to take any waterfall pictures. I don't think I'm blaze of their beauties but I noted other things.

    Logging. Hikers have trouble accepting that Dupont Forest is a State Forest, not a state park. So logging is allowed. I don't think they clearcut but they log. And that's OK with me.

    Danger signs. What they have borrowed from state parks are all the "danger signs". It's as if the waterfalls are going to grab a visitor and take them down. If you admire the waterfalls from the trail, it is not dangerous. Yet, I've seen international visitors take the sign literally and turn around from approaching the waterfall.

    And what is this other picture?

    For years, I've seen this piece of metal on Thomas Cemetery Road. Steve Pierce pointed out that it was part of a gate latch. There were some cables on the opposite tree. Good deduction.

   Dupont Forest is always beautiful but it's more than waterfalls.  Danny Bernstein                                Photos by Danny Bernstein 



WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-629	Mar. 21
Rough Creek	9:00 AM
Hike 7.5, Drive 55, 1800 Ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, bbente@bellsouth.net
This is a rarely used trail in the Canton Watershed. During this loop hike, we walk uphill in the morning, largely on 
old roads, to a ridge line with long distance views. Shortly after we start down, we'll have lunch on rocks overlooking 
a beautiful valley. After lunch we return downhill, crossing Rough Creek on a bridge.  Topo: Canton

19 hikers enjoyed beautiful sunny weather on this 7.5-mile loop in the former Rough Creek Watershed.  Starting at about 3000', we climbed up to our lunch spot at 4400' with mountain views around us.  We continued around the boundary trail and back down, mostly on old roads.  Flowers are few and far between, but we did see some bloodroot, purple violets, vinca and ajuga in bloom. A nice moderate hike was enjoyed by all.   Bruce Bente
 
Photos by Bruce Bente and Ted Connors
 



WEDNESDAY NO. W1201-713	Mar. 28
Bent Creek Experimental Forest	*8:30 AM
Hike 6, Drive 20, 800 ft. ascent, Rated B-C
Lenny Bernstein, 828-236-0192, lsberns@att.net
P400  Ever wonder what kind of research they do at Bent Creek? This is your chance to find out. We'll start with a one-to-two hour 
outdoor tour led by a member of the Forest Service staff and then take a short hike from Hard Times Trailhead. 

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

 

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: Dick Zimmerer, 828-989-0480, dd1zz@yahoo.com
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.

    Photos by Ted Connors    

HALF-DAY NO. H1201-686	Mar.4
Shope Creek Ramble	*12:30 PM
Hike 5, Drive 25, 750 ft. ascent, Rated C-C 
Nonmembers, call leader: Gail Lamb, 828-338-0443, galmb46@bellsouth.net
*Only meeting place: Folk Art Center back parking lot. This is a short ride for a winter walk in the woods, partly along 
Shope Creek in the Riceville Rd. area. It has been recently opened to hikers and has some unmarked trails, some of which 
are near, but not connecting to the Parkway. Possible wet stream crossing.  Topo Map: Craggy Pinnacle

    Light snow and multiple stream crossings for this 5 mile ramble, made 
this hike a little different from, "possible stream crossings".

    Again, we were fortunate to have Tim Forrest, UNCA biology professor and researcher,let us in the gate and hike with us.
Good news is that parking lot inside the gate has been completed by Forest Service and we may have been first to use it.  
However, gate was still locked because of a legal matter in its removal.

    Hike began with right fork and climb up ridge. Then we went down to a beautiful lunch spot next to Shopes Creek. We
hiked up alongside the creek past a small waterfall and looped  back to starting point. One hiker left after lunch and Tim 
walked her to the car. His fast hiking caught up with us. Some want to return and continue to explore this easily accessible 
area.  Gail Lamb

HALF-DAY NO. H1201-685 	Mar. 11
North Slope Loop 	*12:30 PM
Hike 5.3, Drive 65, 700 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 the Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 1:00 PM. A short pleasant hike starts at 
the Pisgah Ranger Station, goes up the North Slope Ridge, and back along the Davidson River.  We'll stop at the English 
Chapel for a bit.  Topo: Pisgah Forest  

    Sixteen hikers met for this pleasant winter hike near Davidson River Campground on a beautiful 
early spring day. About half of these hikers were new to the club which is as 
much a spring like harbinger of new growth as one is likely to find. We made our 
way through the campground, got on the North Slope Loop Trail, and climbed about 
half way up North Slope Ridge. From there it was a nice flat ridge walk viewing 
several coves of Tulip trees and crossing small branches of water coming off the 
side of the mountain. Then we made our way down once again to Davidson River, 
walked along it, visiting an old cemetery, the Ted Seeley Memorial, and English 
Chapel before we returned to our cars.  Stuart English  

    
HALF-DAY NO. H1201-054	Mar. 18
John Rock	12:30 PM
Hike 4, Drive 72, 900 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Chris and Bonnie Allen, 828-645-0357, bonnie@allencats.com
P400  This hike goes up Old Horse Cove Trail to the top of John Rock. At the top there is a great view of Looking Glass 
Rock and the Fish Hatchery. Second meeting place: Fish Hatchery Parking lot off FS 475 at 1:10 PM.  Topo: Shining Rock

HALF-DAY NO. H1102-346	Mar. 25
Folk Art Center to Haw Creek Overlook	*12:30 PM
Hike 5, Drive15, 850 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Nonmembers, call leader: Jim Ariail, 828-505-0443, jimariail@yahoo.com.
*Only meeting place: Folk Art Center back parking lot. This favorite moderate hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is 
rewarded with great views of the Haw Creek Valley.  Topo: Oteen

 

 

----------All Day Weekend Hikes----------

 

SATURDAY NO. A1201-747    Feb. 25
Rainbow Falls and Pretty Place    *9:00 AM
Hike 8, Drive 95, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Bev MacDowell, 828-684-1000, bevmacdowell@charter.net
WC100  *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at NE corner of parking lot
at Cracker Barrel at Exit 53 of I-26 at 9:30 AM, or Jones Gap State Park at 9:45
AM. This in-andf-out hike will stasrt at Jones Gap State Park (NOTE: $2 entry fee per
person), we'll hike up to beautiful Rainbow Falls, continue on a steep, rope-assisted trail
up to the ridgeline and over to Pretty Place for lunch. With luck, we'll enjoy the snow
piles that form at the base of Rainbow Falls in wintertime.  Topos: Cleveland,
Standingstone Mtn.; also Mountain Bridge Wilderness map

    The hike this past Saturday was composed of only 4 walkers.  (We had good competition with a popular Sunday hike!)  None the less, it was sunny skies and beautiful with some wind.  The description published in Let's Go seems approximately right....close.   I didn't hike with GPS, so perhaps not exact.  Bev MacDowell
 

SUNDAY NO. A1201-502    Feb. 26
Deep Creek – Sunkota Ridge    8:00 AM
Hike 13, Drive 135, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated AA-A
Janet Martin, 502-494-9309, jaykaymartin@msn.com
900M  We will hike alongside Deep Creek, one of the beautiful streams on the east side
of the Smokies, and then climb up to and then down Sunkota Ridge, which will have
good winter views. Second meeting place: Rest area beyond Waynesville on US 23/74
at 8:30 AM.  Topos: Bryson City, Clingman's Dome; also NatGeo map #317

    A marvelously sunny day for hiking.  Check out these smiles.  Janet Martin

 

SUNDAY NO. A1201-748    March 4
Mt. Sterling from Cataloochee    8:00 AM
(strenuous)
Hike 12, Drive 100, 3500 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
900M, LTC  Learn about the history of the early settlers of Cataloochee on this new hike
which begins from old NC 284 and follows old roads, along Correll and Dude Barnches
and Long Bunk Trail to reach the summit of Mt. Sterling and the spectacular views from
the fire tower. We'll stop to briefly explore 7-8 old home sites, spring houses and maybe
a cemetery along the way and will return on the access road to Mt. Sterling Gap. Short
car shuttle. Second meeting place: Exxon station on US 276 off Exit 20 of I-40.  Topo:
Cove Creek Gap; also NatGeo map #317

    Twelve hardy souls gathered to take this unusual hike combining a great view
from Mt. Sterling and off trail cultural exploration.  The forecast was
partly cloudy and high 40's.  I reversed the route to get the climb out of
the way first.  We could clearly see the tower as we dropped the shuttle
vehicle at Little Cataloochee TH.  When we got to MSG TH it was snowing, 34
degrees, the wind was blowing at least 15 mph and visibility was limited.
The sun poked through just as we reached the summit for about two minutes
and that was the last we saw of it all day.  At least the climb kept us
warm.


     We headed a short way down Long Bunk and then went off trail following old
roads, paths and just walking through open forests.  We had a number of rock
hop stream crossings through the day made more interesting from the heavy
rain on Friday.  As we investigated many home site belonging to the Hannah
and Hall families among others we discussed many of the elements of what
life was like farming difficult terrain in remote locations, bring up large
families in small homes without running water or electricity.  While the
buildings are gone there are many remains including chimney falls, rocked in
springs, stone walls, and broken glassware and rusted pots and pans left
behind.

     We stopped for a few moments at the Hannah Cemetery.   While the shuttle
drivers went for the cars, I took the rest for a short side trip to the
Hannah Cabin that is one of the few remaining structures in Cataloochee.  It
is notable for its all brick chimney, spring, and a few remaining apple
trees.

     It was a trek with diverse features made more interesting by the weather.
But part of being in the woods is being prepared for whatever Mother Nature
presents.  By the time we got to exit 27 on I-40 the sun was shining on the
end of another great day in the woods.   Michael Knies


SUNDAY NO. A1201-479    March 4
Kagle Mtn.    *8:30 AM
(moderate)
Hike 9, 1100 ft. ascent, Drive 80, Rated B-B
Charlie Ferguson, 828-625-2677 (cell: 828-778-2431), ccf108@gmail.com
P400  *Form carpools at Westgate, and meet leader at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 9:05
AM. This loop hike will start from Cathey's Creek Rd. and follow an overgrown forest
road to the Art Loeb Trail, with lunch at the Butter Gap shelter. We'll return via a no-
name trail for variety. Nice views.  ToposRosman, Shining Rock; also NatGeo map
#780

SUNDAY NO. A1201-142    Mar. 11
Jerry Miller Trail to AT to Fork Ridge Trail    *8:30 AM
Hike 10.5, Drive 92, 3300 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
NOTE that this is the first day of daylight savings time. *Form carpools at
Westgate, and meet leader at US 25/NC 208 intersection at 9:15 AM. After the hike
there will be a potluck supper in the nearby Bear River Community Lodge. Hikers
are requested to contribute food for the supper. Food will be taken to a refrigerator
before the hike. Please phone the leader to coordinate what food to bring. We'll hike
up the Jerry Miller Trail to Bearwallow Gap and right on the AT to Andrew Johnson
Mountain. Right on the Fork Ridge Trail down to FS 111 and a short walk to the cars.
Topo: Greystone; also NatGeo map #782

    A gorgeous sunny day prevailed on this 10.5 mile hike.  Five of us did this hike and enjoyed the clear, far-away views of the Roans, Craggys and the Blacks from the top of Firescald Knob, our lunch spot.   Ten others did a non-CMC hike that was shorter and non-strenuous and soaked in the Hot Springs tubs during the afternoon and joined us at the delicious potluck supper afterward.
    We started the hike at 9:45 AM and finished at 4:15 PM    Tish Desjardins


    Photo by John Sanders

SATURDAY NO. A1201-691    March 17
Upper Whitewater Falls – Round Mtn. Gap    9:30 AM
Hike 7, Drive 120, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
WC100  We will follow the Foothills Trail west from the NC 281 parking lot to Round
Mtn. Gap, then follow the Round Mtn. trail back to the Whitewater Falls overlook. From
here we will drop steeply on the Foothills Trail east, cr