Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina
by Karen Chavez (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2007 Karen Chavez/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Even on a rainy and foggy day, a hike in the mountains beats the average day. Took a counter clockwise loop starting with the HQ Trail before linking up with the Sinny & Upper Falls. All trails were well groomed and well marked with many wide enough for a pick-up truck. Interesting rock formatgions with explanatory signage, but what stuck out to me were thick concentrations of Rhodadendrums (sp?) at certain spots of the trail at the lower elevations. Ascending up to the top of the first peak, it seemed to take another six climbs before reaching the high point. Along one of the higher ridges, I came upon a lonely holly tree bringing the holiday season back into the forefront of my mind. Fog and rain decreased the visibility and hurt the few good views. By taking this loop in the counter clockwise direction, the High Shoals Falls comes at the end of the hike and is a treat. The wet conditions made it quite treacherous in descending the mostly wooden stair ties.
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