Let me start off by saying I love this addition to the site. I am more of a lurker than a poster but I will try and find some time to post several other trip reports from various destinations in North Carolina. One aspect of planning my backpacking trips is to make sure there are ample campsites for Hammockers and with trip reports like these I hope that the wealth of information will make everyone's trip planning easier.
I am a Claytor JH owner, I haven't made any mods to it yet but would eventually like to lighten it just a little. I use an old basic 32 degree bag. I sleep in wool socks a tshirt and fleece, wool cap if needed, and usually my hiking pants. No pad on this trip but I do put my camping towell under my butt for an extra layer of insulation. So on to the trip report.
My two friends and I set out in Panthertown Wilderness Area near Lake Toxaway Friday evening at about 7:15 at the cold mountain gap trail head. We descended into the valley and went towards the area where the shelter is located in the white pine forest. We set up camp there at dusk and we love this area b/c there is a limitless amount of places to hang from and makes a wonderful campsite. The weather that night was unseasonably cool and got down to the mid 40's in early August.
We set out the next morning toward Warden Falls where we ate lunch and relaxed for a while then set out to Blackrock Mountain to take in the views. The views in Panthertown are wonderful as it is nicknamed the Yosemite of the east. The only thing that hampers the vies are the power lines compliments of duke power. From this vantage point you can see the granite domes of Cold Mountain and Little Green Mountain.
We then set off back to the Valley and circled around over several miles to the backside of Little green mountain and ascended to the top to find our campsite for the night. There was a pretty well established campsite on the top of the mountain with plenty of sites to hang hammocks. (all 3 of us use Claytor JH Hammocks) We took in the views over dinner and then scared off a bear that wanted us to share our food with him but never got too close. ( Panthertown is a bear sanctuary and it is fairly common to see a bear) We went to bed and I awoke at sunrise to take in the amazing Appalachian Ocean in full effect and then ate breakfast and headed for Schoolhouse falls. After a short hike from there back to the car we headed home to Charlotte.
Overall a great trip in one of my favorite places to hike. Trails are not named or well marked sometimes but it isn't too difficult to navigate if you have some experience. Check out this site for some pictures
my profile picture is also form Panthertown on a trip there last year.