June 23, 2015
HIKERS: Suzanne Belflower, John Bellamy, Greta Driggers, Charlie Fligg, Bill Hunt, Dick Metzgar, Mike Jones, Jeanne O'Connor, Huck Phillips, Tony Presley, Malivia Swanson and Carole Wintle.
This week's hike was on the Appalachian Trail near Franklin, NC. We did an out and back hike from Deep Gap to the summit of Standing Indian Mountain.
This portion of the A.T. is nice for a summertime hike. Only 5.25 miles round trip.
Today, we had an unexpected adventure when we were driving up F.S. road 71 we encountered a large tree-fall across the road about one mile before Deep Gap. We parked our cars on the side of the road and walked the road up to the gap giving us a couple of miles added to the round trip hike. We were able to call the Forest Service in Franklin and they sent a crew to clean up the tree while we were hiking.
The air is always a bit cooler here along with great views at the summit of Standing Indian. It is a persistent uphill climb to the summit. The actual summit is on a short side trail to the right around 2.5 miles from Deep Gap. Near the same point, you will also see a side trail to the left (Lower Ridge Trail) that leads down to Standing Indian Campground.
Total hiking distance today - 7.25 miles with a large elevation gain.
Directions: From Franklin, NC, go West on US64 14 miles (from the overpass where US23 turns South toward Atlanta) to FS71 Deep Gap Rd. It is the first road to the left past the County Line sign (Clay County). Drive approximately 5.8 miles on this gravel road (FS 71) to the end of the road - Deep Gap parking lot.
Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy and mild with temperatures ranging from 69 to 75 degrees F.
WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Sundrops, Whorled Loosestrife, Flame Azalea, Indian Cucumber Root, Four-Leaf Milkweed, Indian Physic, Wild Hydrangea, Rosebay Rhododendron, Purple Flowering Raspberry, Fire Pink, Black-eyed Susan.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Yellow-breasted Chat, Oven Bird, Dark-eyed Junco, Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-thoarted Blue Warbler, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Veery, White-brested Nuthatch, Field Sparrow, Rose-brested Grosbeak, Eastern Bluebird.