hike report:Eleven hikers took the chance that rain would not dampen our hike, and mostly succeeded. Only a couple of bouts of light rain occurred, and the rain was chased away by the hikers' remedy of everyone putting on their rain gear. Lots of early wildflowers, including the rare fraser's sedge. This normally moderate hike was more challenging due to dozens of fallen trees across the trail. Stepping over dead pines was easy, but fallen hemlock trees with diameters up to four feet on steep slopes caused all sorts of gymnastics to get over, under or around the trunks. Lunch was at campground 34, and a break was taken at Baxter Cabin on the way out on the Maddron Bald Trail. 13 people enjoyed supper afterwards at Nine Mile, including our hikers and Kathy's daughter; by coincidence, Les and Catherine Love and Les's daughter were there and joined our group. -Bruce Bente
hike report:Only four showed up for this great hike. The weather was iffy and this trail has an undeserved bad reputation. The trail is challenging because of all of the rocks but the rocks are placed in such a way as to offer good footing. The five of us got a good workout as well as a surprising variety of wildflowers including two types of Trillium and Dutchman Britches.
scout report:This is a new hike for CMC, and now that I have hiked this beautiful trail I understand why Conserving Carolina and Peter Barr received the Coalition of Recreational Trails' Achievement Award for Wildcat Rock Trail. The trail is an in-and-out and only 5.11 miles total but the elevation gain is 1638 feet. You will be amazed at the wonderful 100+ log steps in the first mile to the 100 ft Little Bearwallow falls. The trail after the waterfall is described as "hard-core" hiking by Conserving Carolina. The next 130+ beautiful rock steps to Wildcat Rock overlook spur trail require strong legs which can step high. At first, we bypass the Wlldcat Rock overlook spur trail to hike an additional mile to the ridgeline of Little Bearwallow Mountain. Views of Little Pisgah and surrounding mountains are available all along the winding-rocky ascent. After reaching the Little Bearwallow Mountain ridgeline, we will return to the spur trail to the Wildcat Rock overlook and hike the last 90 plus rock steps to the overlook for lunch. We then return back down the trail to our cars. Don't forget your poles and expect a good workout. Check the breaking news if the weather is iffy. The hike will be cancelled if the weather is wet and there is a possibility of ice on the trail.
hike report:The hike was canceled because of rain and possible thunderstorms. Sorry about that.
scout report:Porters Creek Trail in the Smokies is a favorite trail, especially in April where flowers bloom profusely. I saw blood root, anemones, toothworts and several types of violets. Trillium were budding. Who knows what species will be blooming on the hike itself? The trail goes up to the campsite, where we'll have lunch. Then it goes down back to the cars. Several stops along the way.
hike report:Ten hikers enjoyed a pleasant day on the Porters Creek Trail. The cloudy skies receded into a sunny day with temps in the upper 50's. A pleasant relaxing lunch at campsite #31. We left the trail head at 10:20 am and returned at 3:30 pm. All the myraid of wild flowers elicted many ohs, & ahs. There were to many to keep count or keeping a list of all the various beautiful flowers. We visited the Ownby Cemetary and the old Messer Homstead/barn along with the Smoky Mtn Hiking Club cabin. The Fern Branch Falls with its rushing water was very impresive. A few of us enjoyed a pleasant dinner back in Asheville. Carroll
scout report:Since I scouted this when I was planning on leading it in the fall, I didn't do a full scout at this point. But, Laura Frisbee did an abbreviated scout, mainly to let me re-familiarize myself with the logistics of driving to the trailhead! Here's the scout report I wrote for the time last fall, when the actual hike got rained out. Danny Bernstein, newcomer Wayne Robertson, and I scouted this Smokies hike on Wednesday, 10/24. Danny has led it multiple times, so she was a great help. I chose this one due to the final decision of the federal government to make good on the last payment to Swain County for the “road to nowhere.” If you come on the hike, we’ll talk more about the important history of the area. I’m doing it twice; on Oct 27 and again on Nov 14. Here’s a link to an article Danny wrote in 2009 about the history of the issue (hopefully the link will work??) https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2009/12/decades-making-uproar-over-great-smoky-mountains-national-parks-north-shore-road-almost-settled5099 It was my first time to do this hike, and I’m really happy with it. Although it is just under 10 miles (passing up the tunnel bypass option) and 1850’ elevation gain, it turns out to be a lovely trail that gently rolls up and down, rather than being really hard for long periods. It passes through a variety of areas and beside streams. We’ll walk through the tunnel which gets pretty dark, but I suspect there will be enough smart phones with flashlights to provide the bit of additional light that’s needed. Poles are nice for the few short stream crossings. We did a short side trip to the Woody Cemetery, and we saw where family members of those buried there before the park came to be come annually to visit the graveyards. We met at Home Depot x44 at 8:00 and reached the trailhead at 9:15. We returned to our cars about 2:45, and it takes about 90 minutes to get back to exit 44.
hike report:It was a beautiful, clear day to be hiking in the Smokies. There were 8 of us in all; all meeting at the first meeting place at x44 Home Depot. Since this Lakeshore Loop hike is billed as a history hike, I decided to focus on the building of Fontana Dam and the ensuing story of the “Road to Nowhere” as families wanting to honor those buried in Woody Cemetery. So, even starting at the parking lot, I gradually shared the story, finishing as we ended the hike. We began the hike about 9:30 and finished, if I remember correctly, about 3:30. The hike itself is a lollipop using Lakeshore, Whiteoak, and Forney Creek Trails. I missed a turn along the way where the signage was confusing, and we worked together to figure out where that was and whether we’d shorten the hike to use my mistake, or backtrack and pick up the intended route (which was what we did). Thanks especially to Becky and to Henry for helping out, and the whole group for being part of the process. To make up some time, we chose to skip going to the cemetery after lunching by a roaring and incredibly beautiful Forney Creek at campsite #74. Missed it? I’m doing it again Wednesday, May 8.
hike report:I was privileged to hike with six fun, enthusiastic women today. We enjoyed three different types of trillium, a frog, pink lady slippers, the stunning Whitewater Falls and absolutely perfect weather. We also saw several snakes that I can’t say we enjoyed, exactly. Very pleasurable day...
scout report:I’ve scouted this hike and found it to be very diverse in a very good way. The initial moderate climb shows beautiful views of Lake Jocassee. I was pleased to find new stairs leading down to Whitewater Falls overlook, they were rebuilt in 2017 due to 2016 wildfires. There’s one water crossing that involves some boulder scrambling and hopping so bring your agility skills. We follow the river for the last few miles as well. It’s very pretty in the woods right now and the falls were spectacular when I was there recently. Note: there is quite a bit of descent by trail and stairs so keep that in mind. Donna
scout report:I scouted this hike after a couple days of rain, making for picturesque cascades and several small falls in the section of trail along the river and at the waterfall at the end of the hike. The high water also made the river crossing more technical at the Right Fork of the Davidson River onto the Farlow Gap trail, I highly recommend hiking poles for the crossing and water shoes if you prefer them. I found a nice lunch spot at a campsite by Daniel Ridge Creek at our turn around point. This is a great hike with a mix of hardwood and rhododendron tunnels. Expect a few moderate climbs and descents. It took about 5 hours to complete with a few stops for photos.
hike report:It was a beautiful day for this moderate hike through the flower-filled woods. Lots of trillium, as predicted, greeted us along with a multitude of other flowers such as Soloman Seal, Beebalm, Wild Geraniums, and May Apple (tons of them -- appropriate for the month of May)!!! Wonderful cool breezes kept us pleasantly air conditioned with all the canopy covering us. We gave our thoughts to Lenny as we passed through the area where he now rests. Thru-hikers greeted us at various intervals, including a young lady from Germany who conversed with us for a few minutes.
scout report:See the write up on the Wednesday 5/15 hike. We are doing it a second time. Hopefully also with good weather. We may add a small .5 round trip addition to another viewing point after we summit Lane Pinnacle. But will see how the weather and group holds up. This hike takes us past the historic Rattle Snake Lodge up the MST to Rich Knob. We then go up and down several intermediate peaks to Lane Pinnacle (our lunch spot). It's a pretty traditional strenuous mountain hike with a 2800 foot gain and 9.5 miles in length. Well worth the effort as well.
hike report:Another awesome day in the mountains. A group of 7 began the hike up to Lane Pinnacle on a near perfect day. We took our first break at Rattle Snake Lodge with a nice history update from Danny Bernstein. Then up to Rich Knob for a snack break and a short breather. Next stop was Lane Pinnacle (our destination), but based on feedback and a bit of exploring by Brenda and Sally on a previous hike we led, we went a bit further (.5 mile). We were rewarded with an outstanding view of Lane Pinnacle and the valley below. Several hikers posed on the ledge for a photo with Lane Pinnacle in the background. Judy took advantage of the photo opportunity and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. The difficulty of the hike was augmented by the high grass on the trail in the higher elevation. But still an outstanding mountain hike.
hike report:Twelve hikers, six in each direction, participated in this key-swap hike on what was expected to be a record-breaking warm day in the area. We, very fortunately, enjoyed the cooler temperatures at high altitude and the added benefit of cool breezes most of the day. Catawba rhododendron and mountain laurel at their peak most of the way. Fantastic views from all high points. Both groups completed a little before 6 pm and got back to Home Depot around 7.
scout report:Report for South-bound Group -- from Daniel Boone Scout Camp to FS816: Four of us started shortly after 9 am and reached Deep Gap about 2.5 hours later, enjoying wildflowers and the shade of the greened-up forest. After a short break, we made our way up and through the Narrows -- a tougher segment than expected, but rewarding in terms of the spectacular views from a couple well-placed overlooks. We stopped for lunch around Mile 5.2 and soon heard the approach of the North-bound group. We swapped keys and went on our way around 1:30. We had over six more miles to go and more climbing to do. With a couple more refueling stops, we arrived at FS816 at 5:40. We had perfect weather, no threat of rain or thunderstorm, and lovely wildflowers along the way. A strenuous hike but certainly enjoyable. NOTE: distance is approximately 11.5 miles, not 10.4 miles as listed. Report submitted by Daisy Teng Karasek Report from Northbound group: This is the final Art Loeb hike (sections 3 and 4) and for me, the most challenging. We started 9:15 from FS816 and enjoyed fabulous views and weather. After going over Black Balsam and Tennent Mountains, we entered Shining Rock wilderness and continued to Flower Gap, Staircase Mountain, the Narrows and then to Deep Gap, where we started section 4 to Daniel Boone Boy Scout camp. We finished at 5. The weather forecast is hot and sunny, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. We experienced about an hour difference between the north and south bound groups so there may be a wait at Home Depot. Plan on a long but rewarding day. Report submitted by Lorraine Bernhardt
scout report:On May 15th, Bruce ,Carroll and I scouted this upcoming hike. This is my first time leading a hike for the club and I chose one that hadn't been done in a few years. So with much anticipation we headed up the MT Noble Trail. After passing several intersecting Mt Bike routes , the trail went from a wide graded path to a narrower one and eventually a dirt road that brought us to the Fire tower after 2 hours and 2 1/2 miles. That was most of the elevation gain on this 8 mile hike. The rest of the hike is a gravel rd walk into an unmaintained trail on which we enter the GSNP and hike out the Mingus Creek Trail to our cars. Henry
hike report:Five members showed up for my inaugural hike as leader. Bruce B, Danny and Amy , Sallye and I headed up the Mt. Noble Trail on Sunday morning in bright sunshine. It did cloud over somewhat later. The hike was every bit the pleasure experienced on our scout trip. lacking only the two Elk females observed before on the Mingus Creek Trail. We lunched in the shade at the tower site, fortified by Lola's brownies. (Henry' esposa)
scout report:On Sunday June 2, I was joined by Stockton, Kate, Donna, Esmie and Bill to scout this favorite annual hike. The parking area was surprisingly empty when we arrived and for the first time I was able to park by the Carvers Gap sign. It got more crowded as the day went on and I do expect crowds the day of the hike. It was chilly and very windy in the morning so we all donned extra layers to start off. We quickly warmed up and the light fog at the top burned off allowing for good long-distance views. Rhododendrons and Flame Azaleas were in varying stages of bloom, more so closest to the bottom, less so towards the top. We found many Gray’s Lilies with buds. Fingers crossed everything will be in full bloom the day of the hike. The views kept getting better and better as we hiked up and the quote for the day became “but wait, there’s more!” We met a couple with the ATC who were trimming back impeding branches and are involved in a lot of the maintenance. They told us the forest service may be planning to close off the access to our lunch hideaway since it’s not maintained and is quite overgrown. Hopefully not before our hike. We also met and chatted with another lovely couple at the lunch stop who said they’ve been CMC members for over 30 years. What a delightful day overall. After hiking down we drove up to the gardens area and did the short ½ mile trail to Roan High Bluff to take in the views. This is a fairly laid-back hike with many stops for photos and taking in the views. Expect to return to Asheville around 6:00pm. The hike goes over 3 wide open balds with no shelter. Bring hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, an extra layer and rain gear. The top of Grassy Ridge Bald where we will stop for lunch has very narrow trails overgrown by dense bushes. Machetes are optional (just kidding). Note for 2nd meeting area – there are no gas pumps at the Ingles in Burnsville. Meet in the small parking area to the far right as you face the store. Please contact the leader if you are planning to meet there. Stockton Hill will be leading this same hike on Wednesday, June 19 which should have less crowds.
hike report:I was joined by 10 CMC hikers for a very fun and enjoyable time on Roan Mountain. On a sunny, clear day we hiked up over Round Bald, to Jane Bald and then up and past Grassy Ridge to the scenic lunch spot overlooking the valley and mountains on the NC side. Most of the rhododendrons were already gone except a few at the very top but we enjoyed the remaining flame azaleas and gray's lilies that were starting to bloom at the lower elevation. We were also fortunate to sight a deer wandering through the meadow where campers had their tents. The mountain was very busy with lots of hikers and more dogs than I can ever recall seeing on a trail in one day. After a long day, everyone decided to skip the short hike to Roan High Bluff and we headed for home.
scout report:I scouted this hike while acting as Sweep for the May FOTS Classic Hike of the Smokies. We had a beautiful day for hiking in Cataloochee Valley. The Clinton Lillies and the Mountain Laurel were making their presence known. The section of Caldwell Fork Trail included in this hike was muddy in several areas and I counted eight (8) blowdowns. The good news is, there was a Park Service trail maintenance crew working on the trail and appeared to intend to move toward the Rough Fork end. The blowdowns were manageable but perhaps may be more hiker friendly on June 16! We'll spend a little time viewing the majestic tulip poplar along the trail and the historic Woody house. Due to recent rains, we had two "almost rock-hoppable" water crossings.