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  1. #1
    DutchConch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Key Largo, FL
    Blackbird XLC
    Journey, Mamajamba
    Whoopie slings

    NC trip: Mt Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge

    Mt. Mitchell, July 5-6
    We drove from Key Largo to Crabtree Falls campground on the Blue ridge parkway. Wanted to stay at the Mt. Mitchell campground near the peak but it was full. Only has nine sites but they are pretty nice. Drove up to the peak right about sunrise on July 5th. Beautiful views. Hung out there enjoying the views until the restaurant opened. Loaded up on calories with another great view. Went back to the parking lot at the peak, registered at the trailhead(free) and got a nice leisurely late start. Took the Black Mountain crest trail 3.8 miles to the Deep Gap primitive campsite. It was a beautiful day with lots of great views along the way. Tough challenging trail just like us Florida flatlanders like. Hiking with our 15 year old son that loves the woods, rock climbing, camping, hiking, but not necessarily backpacking makes the trail take even longer, but we donít mind stopping a lot when there are such great views to enjoy. Arrived at Deep Gap around 4pm, just as it was starting to rain. Found a few different spots that are good for hammocks, and of course It kept raining while we set up. Cooked dinner in the rain. Water is supposed to be about ĺ mile away down a steep trail so we brought enough water. Then we met a big family that told us about water much closer down an old logging road now mostly used by ATVs. Ten minutes of hiking down a nice road and we found water. Didnít need it but nice to know for next time. Not sure though how reliable it is in dry weather, but it looks like you could keep going and get to a creek. Hiking back to the car the next day it was cloudy but I do love hiking a nice ridgeline trail even when there are no views. Back to the restaurant for a great dinner. Wet and soggy hiking could not dampen our spirits. It was a great hike.

    Grandfather Mountain, July 7-9.
    Started up the Profile trail. Had already reserved a campsite online, https://northcarolinastateparks.rese...&parkId=552824 Nicest trailhead Iíve ever seen with a big parking lot and nice bathrooms. Signage on the trails up and on top was great. It all looked new. Started out nice and easy. Started getting a bit tougher after the Profile trail campsite but the trail is really nice. Lots of big slabs laid down and in good shape. I assumed only the CCC moved such big rocks for such a long stretch, but the ranger I met said it was done much more recently by volunteers. Great job! Stopped by the profile view along the way up to the spring. Loaded up with water at the spring since there is no water on top. Last bit of trail from the spring up was even steeper. Seemed like less of a trail than a rock slide. But Iím a glutton for punishment and I love steep, rocky trails. My son, not so much. Got to the top, turned left on the Grandfather trail and hiked a few more minutes to get to our campsite, Cliffside. Great site. Plenty of room for hammocks and it has a small lookout rock with an awesome view that we used as our kitchen table. My son scored what we consider a ďShug worthyĒ hammock spot since it came with a rock perfectly positioned so you can lay in your hammock and have your coffee and breakfast with the rock as your table. Spent the next day hiking the Grandfather trail back towards the swinging bridge with lots of stops for views and to let our son climb rocks along the way. Nice not having our backpacks (spent two nights at Cliffside) since itís a steep rocky trail that sometimes requires the use of ladders or ropes. Nothing technical, just helpful. Beautiful trail. Checked out the other campsites along the way, Calloway gap site was big with 3 wooden platforms for tents, plenty of trees for hammocks, but didnít have a view. Alpine meadow was as you would think, a nice grassy meadow with plenty of tent sites and places in the trees for hammocks. Great views nearby. Nice site. Attic window campsite was very nice, with one wooden platform and a nice private rock with a view too. And itís a stoneís throw from a big open rocky peak with an awesome view. Lots of day trippers coming here. Hiked back to our site, had dinner, then hiked up to Calloway peak and then to Watauga view where we watched a great sunset. Packed up the next day and hiked back down the Profile trail. Would have liked to gone down the Daniel Boone Scout trail but the parking lot for it at the Parkway was closed and the bridge was out. Later learned we could have bypassed it by going out to the trailhead on 221 instead. Next time.

    Linville Gorge, July 10-11
    Left my son at a friendís cabin near Lenoir to relax and fish and we brought our friend Deb along with us. Her first backpacking trip and first night out in a hammock instead of a tent. For me it was a partial completion of a trip we started last year. Started a 5 day trip last year and we did the Rock jock trail, and then started down the Pinch-In trail and camped at the first site down the trail. Going for water, I slipped and pulled a muscle in my thigh so bad I couldnít hike out for 3 days. On this trip we parked at the Conley Cove trailhead and hiked down the Conley Cove trail to the river. Went left on the Linville Gorge trail for a little ways and stopped at LGT campsite 16. Set up hammocks and then cooked dinner in the middle of the river on a big rock with what I swear was built in bench seating. Spent a lot of time just sitting there looking at the river. This time we got our dinner done right before the rain came. Packed up the next day and hiked the Gorge trail to the Babel Tower trail. Took Babel tower trail back up to the trailhead where the rest of the gang met us and gave us a ride to our car. Stopped many times along the way to admire the river and check out other future campsites. Rained hard during the afternoon and we were a sopping wet mess by the time we reached the trailhead. Too hot to put on raingear and the rain felt great. Ended the hike as all Gorge trips should end, with a great meal at Louiseís. Deb is now a backpacking/hammocking convert. She appreciated our loaner gear but has begun the wonderful hobby of buying new gear and upgrading old gear. (Sorry can't find the images for these days)

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Sneads Ferry, NC
    HG CF w/ doors
    AHE Jarbidge River
    whoopie slings
    Great trip report!! You certainly chose some good hikes. I stayed at Cliffside a couple years ago coming from the DB trail when I was just starting hammocking. In February. And had the wind blowing right down the length of my hammock. Lessons learned. But I slept well enough and that view is unbeatable on that trail. Makes me want to go back next weekend.

    I absolutely love the group hang thing you guys had in the photo. Great setup!! Hope I get to run into you guys some day.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Senior Member TallPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    WBXLC, WBBB, LiteOwl
    Superfly, MambaJam
    HG Phoenix, WL Sum
    Webbing, Whoopies
    I enjoyed the write up of some great spots. Next youíll have to hike the Mountains To Sea trail and connect all 3 areas

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