Black Balsam - Shining Rock, NC

September 6, 2005

Today, Josh Rood and the staff from the Blue Ridge Outdoor Education Center joined us for our annual trip to Shining Rock Mountain, NC.

HIKERS - Don Alducin,  Sharada Alducin,  Jeff Anderson,   Melissa Anderson,   Bob Baxley,   Ben Bell,  Phil Brownrigg,   Nathan Daniel,   Jon Doxey,  Chris Hartley,  Dick Metzgar,   Adrianne Murray, Doug Russell,   Bob Presley,  Donna Presley,   Tony Presley,  Josh Rood,   Shannon Rood,   Dan Ross,   Bob Thompson,   Kim Wagner,  David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.

TRAIL INFO. - Today's hike was in the Shining Rock Mountain - Black Balsam Knob area off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC near mile marker 419. We did a loop hike from the parking lot up the road to the top of the hill and turned left onto the Art Lobe Trail to Black Balsam Knob (6,214 ft) continuing over to Tennent Mt. (6,056 ft) then down to Ivestor Gap and next we followed the old road bed up to Shining Rock Mt. Then back to the parking lot following the old road. Directions: Take Hwy. 441 to Franklin, NC and turn right on 441 / (23) and continue road through Dillsboro and highway 23 will fork off to the right and you stay on 23 to the Balsam community until you see a sign for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn onto the Parkway entrance and take the parkway toward Asheville. There are mile posts along the way and you will go to Forest Service Road 816 near Parkway mile post 420. Turn left onto the FS 816 and drive a mile or so up to a pull over on the right. You will see a trail marker sign for the Art Loeb Trail and Mountains to the Sea Trail. This was our starting point.

Along with breathtaking mountain views, thousands of blueberry bushes are along the trail to Shining Rock. The trail is mostly moderately difficult due to very rocky footing and elevation change.

Today's hiking distance - 10.5 miles

Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the low 50's to the low 70's.


FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Goldenrod (several species), White Yarrow, Filmy Angelica, Heal All, White Snake Root, White Woods Aster, Asters (several species), Ragwort, Bindweed, Stiff Gentian, Closed Gentian, Mountain Hydrangea, Phlox, Oxeye Daisy, St. John's Wort, Joe Pye Weed. PLANTS IN FRUIT: Blackberries, Blueberries, Bog Cranberries, Mountain Ash.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Peregrine Falcon, Chimney Swift, Towhee, Hairy Woodpecker.

Our parking lot on F.S. road 816
Much of the hike is on the Art Loeb Trail.
Working our way up the slope to Black Balsam Knob.
One of many awesome views on the way up to Black Balsam Knob.
The views are great from Black Balsam Knob (elevation 6,214 ft.)
Working our way across the ridge.
The grassy slopes remind some of Ireland or Scotland.
Continuous nice mountain views.
More Blue Ridge views!
We explore some of the massive white quartz
boulders and cliffs on Shining Rock Mountain.
Still another view!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Jeff Anderson, Sharada Alducin, Melissa Anderson, Kim Wagner, Josh Rood, Shannon Rood, and Chris Hartley.(middle l-r) Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, Ben Bell, Adrianne Murray, and Bob Baxley. (back l-r) Tony Presley, David Whitaker, Phil Brownrigg, Don Alducin, Dick Metzgar, Bob Thompson, Bob Presley, Dan Ross, Jon Doxey, Nathan Daniel, and Doug Russell.

to Tony's Hiking Page.