100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina
by Joe Miller (The Mountaineers Books)
© Joe Miller/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
I was visiting my brother for the weekend in Johnson City, TN and we decided to go on a quick morning hike. It's an accessible section of the AT so the trail is in great condition. We started at Carver's Gap at about sunrise and were able to get many beautiful views on an exceptionally clear day. The only issue we ran into was a hunting pair who somehow thought setting up 100 feet off the AT and sighting across the trail was okay. This was very disturbing to see. Other than that it's a superb hike that's doable for most day hikers.
If you're on the AT and looking for a place to camp this is not it - the balds are exposed and weather can move in quickly. There are shelters within a few miles on either side of Carver's Gap.
This is a great hike for anyone who, like myself, is not considered athletic. These 3 balds each have 360 degree views - the hike will make your heart pump, but will not cause unnecessary pain. We hiked this in the fall and I hope to go back in the spring to enjoy the wildflowers. The first bald was a little crowded, but the crowds diminish as you continue onto the 2nd and 3rd balds. Rhododendrons bloom in June at Roan Mountain -
We hiked most of this trail, 3.8 RT from Carvers Gap, twice over the month. Views are amazing! We loved experiencing both the spruce forest and the balds in one hike. Be prepared for cool temps even in the summer. The altitude makes the up hill climbs tougher than you'd expect.
This was my first exposure to hiking and the appalachains, this stretch from around applehouse shelter to the other side of roan mtn is an awesome 3-4 day. the balds leading up to roan coming from the south are so awesome. look to 1 side its tennessee and the other is north cak-o-lak. great little spot
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