Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam Knob - Shining Rock - NC September 1, 2009

Today, we traveled to the Blueridge Parkway between Cherokee and Asheville, NC. This area is rich with hiking trails and we hiked on the Graveyard Fields Trail, The Art Loeb Trail and the Ivestor Gap Trail to Shining Rock. Four of our group hiked the Ivestor Gap Trail to Shining Rock and six hiked the Graveyard Fields Trails and the Art Loeb Trail.

HIKERS - Karen Brown, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Bill Hunt, Martha Hunt, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross and Pom Sinnock.

TRAIL INFORMATION - Although the weather forecast was for partly cloudy skies today, it turned out to be cloudy and very cool with heavy fog for most of our hike. The Graveyard Fields hike included the Lower Falls trail and the Upper Falls Trail which are out and back sections along with the loop trail. This is a beautiful hiking area with very nice views on a clear day. Even in the fog, it was a nice hike. The section of the Art Loeb Trail that we did today takes you over the top of Black Balsam Knob (elevation of 6,214 feet) with breathtaking views on a clear day. In the fog today, it was still a very beautiful hike with a chilly wind and blowing fog. The Ivestor Gap Trail to Shining Rock is a 12 mile out and back hike that follows an old road / rail bed to beautiful Shining Rock Mountain with massive white quartz boulders. One of the main attractions this time of year are thousands and thousands of blueberry bushes loaded with ripe berries.

hiking distance today -

Today's hiking distance - Graveyard and Art Loeb group - 7 miles ... Shining Rock group - 12 miles.

Directions: Travel to the Blueridge Parkway between Asheville, NC and Cherokee, NC. Graveyard Fields is located at milepost 418.8 and Black Balsam Knob and the Ivestor Gap Trailhead are near milepost 420.

Another great day for a hike! Cloudy, foggy, very cool. Temperatures ranged from 52 degrees to 57 degrees.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Grass of Parnasus, White Yarrow, Golden Rod, Silver Rod, White Woods Aster, White Whorled Aster, Bushy Aster, Blue Aster, St. John's Wort, Heal All, Bush Honeysuckle, Turtleheads, White Campion, Spotted Jewelweed, White Snakeroot, Filmy Angelica, Joe Pye Weed, Woodland Joe Pye Weed, Indian Plantain, Ox-eye Daisy, Dodder, Closed Gentian Bluet and Tall Bluet.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Turkey, Ruffed Grouse, Raven, Junco and Towhee.

YouTube Video from today's hike!

scroll down for photos.......

Heavy fog for the day!
Graveyard Fields at milepost 418.8 - Blueridge Parkway.
The Yellowstone Prong River
The Lower Falls.
Trillium with fruit pod.
The Upper Falls!
Continuation of Upper Falls.
Exploring the wet rocks on the river.
Next, The Art Loeb Trail.
Headed for Black Balsam Knob!
Foggy views near the Summit.
A rare opportunity to hike above 6,000 ft.
Fungi of the week!
Shining Rock Mountain and huge white quartz boulders.
Exploring the quartz boulders.
Greta picking blueberries near Shining Rock.
Shining Rock Blueberry bounty!
The OFHC gang for today's foggy hike. (l-r) Pom Sinnock, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Jim Driggers, Greta Driggers, Bill Hunt, Martha Hunt, Vic Robson, Karen Brown and Donna Presley.

back 2009 Hikes        OR        back to Tony's Hiking Page.