Muskrat Creek - Appalachian Trail, NC

June 1, 2004

HIKERS - Jack Jacobi,   Dianne Jordan,  Steve Jordan,   Bob Magee,  Hayward Marshall,  Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller,   Bob Presley,   Dan Ross,  Doug Russell,  Geri Thompson,   and David Whitaker. .

TRAIL INFO. - Our hike today was on the Appalachian Trail from Deep Gap off of old Hwy 64 West of Franklin and Hiked to to the Muskrat Creek Shelter.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, go West on US64 13.6 miles (from overpass where US23 turns South toward Atlanta) to FS71. Turn is just past top of hill with 'Clay County' sign. Drive approximately 5 miles on this gravel road (FS 71) to the Deep Gap parking lot.

Another beautiful hiking day! Mostly fair skies with temps. ranging from the 57 to the 67 F. Total hike approx. 8.2 miles. We rated the trail difficulty - moderate with occasional rocky footing.

FLORA IN BLOOM: Flame Azalea, Indian Cucumber Root, Solomon's Seal, False Solomon's Seal, Tassel Rue, Foam Flower, Golden Alexander, Vasey's Trillium, Alternate-Leafed Dogwood, Wood Betony, Jack-in -the-Pulpit, Goat's Beard, Mountain Laurel, Squaw Root, Bluet, Tall Bluet, Galax, Micheaux's Saxifrage, Pink Lady Slipper, Lyre-Leafed Sage, Clintonia, Meadow Rue.

FAUNA: Garter Snake; Birds: Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Blue Jay, Towhee, Black-Throated Blue Warbler, Red-Eyed Vireo, Wood Peewee, Scarlet Tanager, Yellowthroat Oven Bird, Veery.

We started our hike at the Deep Gap parking lot.
Our group of 12 heads south toward Muskrat Creek.
A very nice view along the way!
The A.T. intersects the Chunky Gal Trail.
A beautiful Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) .
The trail passes through a Rhododendron tunnel near Muskrat Creek.
We had lunch at the Muskrat Creek Shelter.
Most of today's portion of the A.T. is through lush woodland.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (kneeling l-r) Doug Russell, Dianne Jordan and Smokey! (standing l-r) David Whitaker, Geri Thompson, Steve Jordan, Wayne Miller, Hayward Marshall, Wanda Miller, Dan Ross, Justin Brown, Jack Jacobi, Bob Presley, and Bob Magee.

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