Hikingsouth Hike of the Week

The Pickens Nose Trail, Appalachian Trail - Albert Mountain, Mooney Falls, Laurel Falls Trail - NC

June 21, 2016

HIKERS - Suzanne Belflower, Mike Bell, Phil Brownrigg, Ray Clark, Joe Collins, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Angela Evans, Stephen Gales, Kanchan Garg, Deena Johns, Ronnie Johns, Kim Johnson, Dick Metzgar, Trushna Nadig, Jeanne O'Connor, Huck Phillips, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Carole Wintle and Jack Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - Pickens Nose Mountain was named after Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens. It is said that he had a rather pronounced nose and the pronounced rock formation at the summit led to the name. 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 and Laurel Creek Trail are on the forest service road toward Standing Indian Campground. Mooney Falls Trail is only a quarter mile or so long to a very nice waterfall. Laurel Creek Falls is a beautiful jewel in the NC mountains and the creek combines with others to form the headwaters of the Nantahala River.

Total hiking distance today - About 5 miles with considerable elevation gain. We rate the hike difficulty as moderate since the hikes were short.

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 Creek and Laurel Creek Falls, drive back down the road from Albert Mountain and turn right onto F.S. road 83 and continue several miles to the trail sign on the left.

Another great day for a hike! Partly Cloudy with temperatures ranging from 68 to 75 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Mountain Woodsorrel, Fire Pink, Heal-all, Purple-flowering Raspberry, Whoreled Loosestrife, Oxeye Daisy, Tall Bluet, Bush Honeysuckle, Mountain Laurel, Flame Azalea, Galax, Rosebay Rhododendron, Squaw Root, Sundrops, Goat's Beard, Black-eyed Susan, Indian Physic .

Birds Identified: Crowe, Vireo, Blue Jay, Veery, Black and White Warbler, Pine Warbler, Towhee, Junco, Nuthatch .

Scroll down for photos

Parking on F.S. Road 83 - Pickens Nose Parking area.
The trail is uphill through lots of Rhododendrons.
The first viewpoint is on a short side-trail to the left.
At the end of the trail you come to a large rockface with great views!
The most famous rock outcrop on Pickens Nose Mountain.
Next, we move up the road a few miles to the access trail to the A.T. and on to Albert Mt.
We arrive at the summit of Albert and the Fire Tower.
Awesome views from high in the tower.
From the tower, you have 360 degrees of mountain views!
Next, we head down the road to the Mooney Falls Trail.
Beautiful Mooney Falls!
And for our 4th trail today, we hike to Laurel Falls.
Cooling off at Laurel Falls!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Ronnie Johns, Deena Johns, Jeanne O'Connor, Trushna Nadig, Joe Collins, Mike Bell, Suzanne Belflower, Kim Johnson, Greta Driggers, Dick Metzgar, Ray Clark, Kanchan Garg, Angela Evans, Huck Phillips, Jack Wintle, Carole Wintle, Jim Driggers, Stephen Gales and Phil Brownrigg.



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