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Apalachian Trail

Laurel Fork Trail

The Laurel Fork Trail is located just upstream from the very popular trek on the Appalachian Trail to Laurel Falls.  Designated as Cherokee National Forest Trail #39 this hike, however, is much more secluded, adventurous, and extremely remote. It requires numerous and often difficult stream fords, deep and muddy areas dammed up by beavers, some … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Backpacking, Vistas, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grayson Highlands Backpacking: A.T./Pine Mountain Loop

This is a loop hike in the Grayson Highlands that I tend to do about once per year, so I’ve posted it a couple times before, but not with all the snowy conditions that I experienced this time. My daughter Taylor and her boyfriend Cameron joined me over their spring break around the end of March.  And … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Backpacking, Vistas | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Iron Mtn Backpacking: TN91 to Wilbur Dam Road

I finished up a small section of Appalachian Trail that I had not completed before, covering the Iron Mountain ridgeline from TN91  to Wilburn Dam Road.  This was a southbound 16 mile hike, spending one night. About 3 miles into the hike my first stop was the Nick Grindstaff Monument.  This is very eerie place with … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Backpacking, Historical, Lakes, Vistas | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Watauga Dam

Watauga Dam was completed in 1949 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, creating a very beautiful lake at 2000′ elevation.  At the time of its construction, it was the highest elevation earthen dam in the world, and  today it still remains as the highest in the eastern United States.  What makes this area so picturesque is … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, Historical, Lakes, Vistas | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Whitetop Mountain & Buzzard Rock

Whitetop Mountain is the State of Virginia’s second highest peak at 5525′, along with having the highest maintained road in the state.  You can make this a very short and easy day-hike by taking this road all the way to the top of the mountain, but I decided to climb it on foot instead… starting … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, Rock Formations, Summits, Vistas | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

Grassy Ridge

Grassy Ridge is a prominent peak in the Roan Highlands sitting at 6180 feet in elevation.  This expansive Southern Appalachian Bald offers 360 degree, unobstructed views, which are undoubtedly some of the best in the eastern U.S.  This is also the highpoint of Avery County, NC. I left the house very early in the morning … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, NC County Highpoint, Rock Formations, Summits, Vistas, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Grayson Highlands State Park – Rhododendron Trail

First, I want to apologize for the lack of posts lately.  I went on a 4-day backpacking trip about a month ago and injured my knee, so I haven’t been out much since that trip.  I hope it is healing up so I can get back out on some longer hikes very soon. I’ve made … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, Vistas | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Round Bald Summit

If you’re looking for a short walk to amazing vistas, check out the summit of Round Bald in the Roan Highlands.  This is a 5826′ elevation mountain with 360 degree-panoramic views.   The hike is entirely on the Appalachian Trail and is only a mile trek (round trip).  See my Hike Planner below for all … Continue reading »

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Grayson Highlands Backpacking: A.T. – Pine Mtn Loop

I made my first backpacking trip of the year on a loop starting in the Grayson Highlands State Park (at the Backpackers Overnight Parking area).  I’ve done this exact trip a couple of times before, and as always I’ve found it to be a great hike if you’re looking for a short, relaxing loop for … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Backpacking, Vistas | Tags: , , , , | 44 Comments

Elk Falls & Jones Falls

100′ Jones Falls I took advantage of all the rain this week and hiked to two of the most grand waterfalls in our region… Elk Falls and Jones Falls. Elk Falls (also known as Big Falls) is probably one of the most visited and well-known waterfalls in the area… easily accessible by car.  And with … Continue reading »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, Waterfalls | Tags: , | 11 Comments