Wayah Bald from Wayah Crest - Appalachian Trail, NC

August 21, 2007

Today's hike was on the Appalachian Trail west of Franklin, NC. Hiking from the Wayah Crest picnic area the trail gradually climbs from 4,188 ft. to 5,342 ft. at Wayah Bald. The high elevations give cooler temperatures for a pleasant summertime hike.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Jack Jacobi, Joe Metzger, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Joe Raguckas, Vic Robson, Doug Russell, Pom Sinnock, Dave Standard, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker.

TRAIL INFO. - This portion of the Appalachian Trail involves more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain out to Wayah Bald but the change is mostly gradual. The trail merges with the Bartram Trail about half-way out. Despite the very dry summer, the wildflowers were prolific. The views from the old rock observation tower are some of the best in the southeast on a clear day.

Directions: From Franklin, travel west on US 64 for 3 miles to Old Murphy Road where there is a Wayah Bald sign. Turn right and drive .2 mile to Wayah Road (SR 1310). Turn left and continue for 9 miles to Wayah Gap and FR 69. (Wayah Crest Picnic Area is on the left.)

Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy and mild with temperatures ranging from 70-78 degrees F.

Hiking distance - approx. 8.5 miles

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Horse Balm, Indian Physic, Heal-All, Angelica, Tall Bluet, Doll's Eyes (fruit), Yellow Mandarin (fruit), Pale Jewel Weed, Yarrow, Coreopsis, Canada Violet, Alum Root, Clover, Wood Sorrel, White Snake Root, Golden Rod, Black Eyed Susan, Mountain Mint, Sun Flower, Joe Pye Weed, Harebell, Skull Cap, Rattlesnake Plantain, White Wood Aster, Monk's Hood, Blue Wood Aster, Black Cohosh, Indian Pink, Beech Drops, Spotted Jewelweed, Flowering spurge, and Daisy Fleabane

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: White Breasted Nuthatch, Turkey, Crow, Hairy Woodpecker, Summer Tananger, Grouse, Chimney Swift, Hooded Warbler

Other Fauna: Garter Snake

scroll down for photos.......

Getting ready at the Wayah Crest parking area.
The beauty of the forest.
Another great day for a hike!
Crossing the Wayah Bald gravel road. .
The old rock tower at Wayah Bald!
View from the tower.
There are nice information signs in the tower.
Our array of hiking sticks!
Lunchtime in the tower!
Back to Wayah Crest...
Some of today's wildflowers. (top left and clockwise) Pale Jewelweed, White Snakeroot,
Woodland Sunflower, White Wood Aster.
The OFHC gang from today's hike (l-r front) Pom Sinnock, Joe Metzger, Wanda Miller, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker. (l-r back) June Bellamy, Bob Thompson, John Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, Dave Standard, Wayne Miller, Joe Raguckas, Phil Brownrigg, Vic Robson.

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