Saturday, October 17, 2015
Father / Son Trip 2015
This years trip got off to a different start. We are used to not doing plan A, and sometimes not plan B either, but this year due to injuries we decided to do day hikes. We had a warm up hike along the Greenway to make sure that everyone was in walking shape.
Day One: 11.2 Miles
Ace Gap Trail off Rich Mountain Road. First we went to see the cave by the trailhead and then we headed out. There was nobody on the trail today and this was an easier trail as far as ups and downs. We learned that they have removed campsites #4 and #7 from this trail. We hiked to the Beard Cane trail and back. We did see a bike rider, which is a no no, on the trail during our trip back to the van.
Day Two: 9.4 Miles
Leaving from Balsam Mt. Road, we did the Hemphill Bald trail to Hemphill Bald. This is a nice hike along the park boundary which offers lots of views. At the top of the Bald you overlook the Cataloochee Ski Area and Cataloochee Guest Ranch along with lots and lots of mountains. Once again we had the trail to ourselves until we got to the Bald. At the top the ranch has a picnic area with tables.
Day Three: 8 Miles
Off trail today. We started at the Old Sugarlands trail and headed back to the Sugarlands Cemetery area where we went off trail to find the Rock House. Built by the CCC back in the day, the walls are still standing.
After that we headed to the Jakes Creek Trail and took it past Cucumber Gap trail and went off trail to find the Avent Cabin which is still in great shape. As we crossed the creek we saw a black bear that had been hanging around the cabin.