July 21, 2015
HIKERS: Mike Bell, Phil Brownrigg, Tim Hale, Adam Hunt, Bill Hunt, Layne Hunt, Ronnie Johns, Bob Magee, Jeanne O'Connor, Tony Presley, Vic Robson and Carole Wintle.
TRAIL INFO. - We traveled to Highlands, NC today and first stopped by and did the short but breathtaking hike to Dry Falls. Always a favorite stop to view one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the U.S. The trail is about a half mile round trip and allows you to walk behind the falls and feel the cool mist and hear the violent rush of water tumbling into the gorge below. Next, we traveled down the road a mile or so to Cliffside Lake Recreation area and hiked on a couple of trails there. We hiked the lake loop and the Ranger Falls - Skitty Creek Trail and a portion of the Flat Mt. Rd. Trail. The trails here are nice with lots of restroom facilities and picnic areas and a nice network of trails to choose from.
Total hiking distance today - About 5 miles with some elevation change. We rate the hike difficulty as moderate.
Directions: From downtown Highlands, take highway 64 toward Franklin. Dry falls is a couple of miles down the highway on the left. For Cliffside Lake continue another couple of miles and look for the sign. Turn to the right and drive to the pay station ($4 per car / $2 with senior pass) and continue to the parking area.
Another great day for a hike! Mostly to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the upper 60's to the upper 70's F.
WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Wild Hydrangea, Black-eyed Susan, Buttercups, Indian Pipes, St. Johns Wort, Joe Pye Weed, Heal-all, Rattlesnake Plantain, Duck Potato (Arrowhead), Rhododendron Maximum, Woodland Sunflower, Coreopsis, Yarrow, Queen Anne's Lace, Red Clover, Evening Primrose, Mountain Phlox .
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Wood Duck, Mallard Duck, American Crow, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Nuthatch and Tufted Titmouse.
scroll down for photos and video from today.......