Appalachian Trail - Wayah Crest to Siler Bald- August 25, 2009

Today, we hiked on the Appalachian Trail in NC from the Wayah Crest Picnic Area to Siler Bald and the Siler Bald Shelter loop. total distance approx. 6 mi.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Karen Brown, Phil Brownrigg, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Dan Euliss, Pam Euliss, Bill Hunt, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Pom Sinnock, Faye Sisson, Dave Standard, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Carole Wintle and Jack Wintle.

TRAIL INFORMATION - The Appalachian Trail from Wayah Gap to Siler Gap is a fairly steady uphill hike. Then you take a side trail up the grassy slope to the summit of Siler Bald (elevation 5,216 ft.). After exploring the summit, we walked back down to the gap and then continued down to the Siler Bald shelter for lunch. Then we continued on the shelter loop until we re-joined the A.T. and hiked back up to Siler Gap and then back down to Wayah Gap and the Wayah Crest parking area.

Today's hiking distance - 6 miles total. Difficulty - Moderately difficult due to large elevation change.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, 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. Temperatures ranged from 70 degrees to 77 degrees.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: White Snakeroot, White Woods Aster, Heal All, Goldenrod, Black-eyed Susan, Filmy Angelica, Joe Pye Weed, Pale Jewelweed, Spotted Jewelweed, Featherbells, Horse Balm, False Foxglove, Southern Harebells, Woodland Joe Pye Weed, Indian Plantain, Fire Pink, Black Cohosh, Turtlehead, Bee Balm, Dodder, Alumroot, Flowering Spurge, Tall Phlox, Heart-leafed Aster, Whorled Coreopsis, Indian Pipe, Blue Aster, Begger's Lice, Woodland Sunflower, Starry campion, Silver Rod, White Yarrow, Ox-eye Daisy, Daisy Fleabane, Mullein, Cinquefoil, Sun Glo Sunflower, Tall Coreopsis, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Northern Agriculum, Stinging Nettle and Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Crow, Blue Jay, Raven, Titmouse, Red Eyed Vireo, Nuthatch, Yellow Throated Vireo, Junco, Pileated Woodpecker, PeeWee, Chipping Sparrow, Porsche Carrera.

YouTube Video from today's hike.

scroll down for photos.......

Leaving Wayah Crest headed for Siler Bald.
A dangerous Bald Face Hornets nest.
Nice looking mushrooms!
Nearing the summit of Siler Bald.
Marker at the summit.
View one!
View 2!
View 3!
Headed back down the grassy slope.
Turtleheads with a bumblebee.
Headed for the shelter and lunch.
Lunchtime at the Siler Bald Shelter!
Mushrooms of the week!
Some of today's wildflowers (top left then clockwise) Pale Jewelweed,
Starry Campion, Southern Harebell, Blue-bead Lily.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r kneeling) Jack Wintle, Carole Wintle, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Faye Sisson, Bill Hunt, Don Preece, Vic Robson, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker and Tony Presley. (l-r standing) Phil Brownrigg, Dan Euliss, Pom Sinnock, Pam Euliss, Karen Brown, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Jim Driggers, Greta Driggers, Dick Metzgar, Jack Jacobi, Dave Standard and Dan Ross.

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