Kimsey Creek, Park Ridge and Wasilik Poplar Trails, NC

July 25, 2006

This week's hike was in the Standing Indian Campground area west of Franklin, NC. We hiked on the Kimsey Creek Trail, Park Ridge Trail and Wasilik Poplar Trail.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Doug Russell, Dave Standard, Wanda Miller, and Wayne Miller .

TRAIL INFO. - The Kimsey Creek and Park Ridge Trails begin in the Standing Indian Campground and we did a loop that included both trails. The trails are in good shape and have moderate hills. The Wasilik Poplar trail begins at Rock Gap on the Appalachian Trail and it is a three quarter mile hike down to the famous Wasilik Poplar Tree. It was listed as the 2nd largest living poplar tree in the eastern U.S. but unfortunately the tree is now completely dead. It is a nice trail with lush tree growth and lots of wildflowers. Beware of Yellow Jacket nests this time of year! Our group was stung a total of 8 times today by these little pests.

Total hiking distance today - 6 miles.

Directions: From Franklin, take US Rt. 64 west for 12 miles to Wallace Gap/Standing Indian campground sign (Old Murphy Rd. Old 64). Turn left onto Old Murphy Rd. and go 1.9 miles to Standing Indian campground sign (Forest Rt. 67). Turn right onto Rt. 67 and go 1.8 miles to the fork in the road and bear right into campground.

Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy, temperatures ranging from the mid 60's to upper 70's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Canada Violet, Tall Bellflower, Bee Balm (red), Bergamot (white), Black-eyed Susan, Whorled Coreopsis, Oxeye Daisy, Joe Pye Weed, Heal-All, Indian Pipes, Pinesap, Mountain Hydrangea, Mountain Mint, Fire Pink, Carolina Phlox, Daisy Fleabane, Evening Primrose, Rosebay Rhododendron, Skullcap, Spiderwort, Squaw Root, Carolina’s Lily, Sourwood, Black Cohosh, Yellow Gerardia, White Yarrow, Stinging Nettle, Southern Harebell, and Starry Campion .

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Towhee, Red-Eyed Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, Crow, Blue Jay, Junco, Broad-Winged Hawk, Chickadee, Veery, Pileated Woodpecker, Junco.

The start of today's hike.
The peaceful creek near the start.
Nice trail junction signs.
The entire hike today was in a lush woodland environment.
We found lots of Jewelweed in bloom.
(l-r) Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and Pale Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida)
A nice refreshing mountain spring next to the trail.
Two more nice wildflowers! (l-r) Carolina Lily (Lilium michauxii)
and Tall Bellflower (Campanula americana)
The Wasilik Poplar Tree. As you can see, it is now dead. It was a true giant!
We head back to Rock Gap.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Bob Presley, Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, John Bellamy, Donna Presley, Dave Standard, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Jeanne O'Connor, Bruce O'Connor, and Tony Presley.

to Tony's Hiking Page.