Appalachian Trail - Winding Stair Gap - Siler Bald - NC

May 22, 2012

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Bob Browe, Chuck Crisp, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Pam Euliss, Dave Hinson, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Lynne Saporito .

TRAIL INFO: A great section of the Appalachian Trail in NC. Some of the most spectacular mountain views in the Southeastern U.S. The trail gains more than 1,400 ft. in elevation as you make your way up to the summit of Siler Bald at 5,216 ft. Siler Bald is actually on a side trail up a long grassy slope that almost looks like a ski slope. A breathtaking 360 degree view awaits you at the summit.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, take Highway 64 West for about 10 miles and look for the parking lot on the left. (It is just beyond the large rock cliffs on each side of the road) You will see the Appalachian Trail sign.

Another great day for a hike! Cloudy to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging 60 to 70 - moderately strenuous due to a gradual elevation gain of over 1,400 ft.

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Bowman's Root, Thyme-leafed Bluets, Woodland Bluets,Four-leafed Milkweed, Fire Pink, Meadow Parsnip, Golden Alexanders, Rattlesnake Hawkweed, Goat's-beard, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Star Grass, Indian Cucumber Root, Galax, Indian Pipe, Solomon's-seal, Solomon's-plume, Foam Flower, Umbrella Leaf, Cinquefoil, Wild Strawberry, Hairy Buttercup, Hooked Buttercup, Common Blue Violet, Mt. Hydrangea, Mt. Laurel, Wood Geranium, Woods Vetch, Spiderwort, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Blackberry, Jack-in-the-pulpit,Cow-wheat, Flame Azalea, Deerberry, Alternate-leafed Dogwood, Pussy-toes, Squawroot, Clintonia Lilly, Wood Betony, Rosy Twisted Stalk, Tall Meadow Rue, Daisy Fleabane, Common Dandelion, Red Clover and Large-flowered Trillium.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Ruffed Grouse, Wood Thrush, Veery, Red-eyed Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, Scarler Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Towhee, Ovenbird, Parula Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler and Pileated Woodpecker.

Other Fauna: Red Eft Newt.

scroll down for photos and video from today.......

The starting point for today's hike. Winding Stair Gap on highway 64 west of Franklin, NC.
Sign on Highway 64.
Great day for wildflowers. White Clintonia.
A nice waterfall early into the hike.
A nice little Red Eft Newt.
The long grassy slope that leads to the summit of Siler Bald!
Looking down toward Nantahala Lake as we climb the slope.
Lunchtime on Siler Bald!
Marker at the Summit of Siler Bald.
Beautiful views in every direction!
Back at the bottom of the grassy slope.
Another good week for Flame Azaleas!
Sign at Highway 64.
The OFHC gang for today's hike! (l-r) Phil Brownrigg, John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Lynne Saporito & Angus, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Chuck Crisp, Pam Euliss, Don Preece, Bob Browe, Dave Hinson, Vic Robson, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers and Tony Presley.

See below for video and more photos!

click below for more photos!

Siler Bald Appalachian Trail 5-22-12

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