Pickens Nose Trail - Appalachian Trail - Mooney Falls - Laurel Falls

July 12, 2011

This week's hike was on four fairly short trails near Franklin, NC.

HIKERS - Chuck Crisp, Jackie Crisp, Bill Hunt, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley and Vic Robson, .

TRAIL INFO. - Pickens Nose Mountain was named after Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens. The Pickens Nose Trail is heavily used by rock climbers/rappelers since it has magnificent rock faces. The views there are awesome! Our second hike started at the parking lot below the summit of Albert Mountain, there is a connector trail up to the Appalachian Trail and then we follow the A.T. up to the summit and fire tower for some of the most spectacular views on the entire 2,000+ mile Trail. The Mooney Falls Trail is on the forest service road toward Standing Indian Campground and the Laurel Creek Trail is about a mile beyond Mooney Falls toward Standing Indian Campground. These two falls are beautiful jewels in the NC mountains and the two creeks combine to form the headwaters of the Nantahala River.

Total hiking distance today - About 4.5 miles with considerable elevation gain. We rate the hike moderately easy.

Directions: Take highway 441 north from Clayton, GA to the community of Otto, NC. Turn left onto Coweeta Lab Road . Drive several miles up this road and you will see the Coweeta Hydrologic Lab on your right. Continue on past the lab and the road becomes a gravel Forest Service road 83. Continue up this road for several miles and you will come to a sign for Pickens Nose. There is a parking area here. For Albert Mountain, continue on past this area a mile or so and there is a fork in the road and a sign pointing to the right to Albert Mountain. Continue on the right fork to the end of the road where there is a parking area. Hike up the connector trail behind the gate to the A.T. and turn right to Albert Mt. For Mooney Falls, drive back down the road from Albert Mountain and turn right onto F.S. road 83 and continue several miles to the Mooney Falls sign on the left. Finally, continue down the road about another mile or so and you will see the Laurel Creek Trail sign on the left.

Another great day for a hike! Mostly to partly Cloudy with temperatures ranging from the upper 60's to the low 70's.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Crown Vetch, Lance-leaved Loosestrife, Oxeye Daisy, Tall Bluet, Bush Honeysuckle, Thin Leaved Sunflower, White Yarrow, Downy Phlox, Angelica, Mountain Hydrangea, Daisy Fleabane, Fire Pink, Mountain Mint, Rosebay Rhododendron, White Bergamot, Indian Pipes, Indian Whorled Loosestrife, Heal-All, Summersweet, Joe Pye Weed, Black-eyed Susan, False Foxglove, Indian Pipes, Purple Flowering Raspberry, Turks Cap Lily.

Birds Identified: Pine Warbler, Towhee, Junco, Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee.

Other Fauna: Chipmunk, Field Mouse.

Scroll down for photos and video from today!

Our first trail started here today.
The first of many great views today!
The most breathtaking rock outcrop at Pickens Nose.
Another view from the rock cliffs.
Mushrooms of the week!
We now move up the the Appalachian Trail leading to Albert Mt.
Rosebay Rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum) were in peak bloom.
Arriving at the summit of Albert Mt., we meet two nice folks from the U.S. Forest Service.
We walk up the tower to get breathtaking 360 degree views!
Looking down on clouds that were hanging in the valleys. Elevation here is a little over a mile!
Next, we walked the short trail to beautiful Mooney Falls!
For our final trail today, we hike to beautiful Laurel Falls.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Chuck Crisp, Jackie Crisp, Bill Hunt, Vic Robson, Dick Metzgar, Donna Presley, Jeanne O'Connor, Jack Jacobi and Tony Presley


Click below for More photos!
Pickens Nose Albert Mt. 7-12-11

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