February 13, 2016
People shy away from hiking in winter for obvious reasons: the cold, the lack of green, the lack of flowers. For me, this is the best time to hike. No other hikers, the wind, the crispness of the air burning my lungs as I press upward a mountain, the vistas for miles.
Several miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 215, is a wonderful, moderate hike. Summey Cove Trail wastes no time ascending from the trailhead. Steep, but short, I summited Big Fork Ridge in 15 minutes, then descended to Summey Cove. Immediately, beauteous views appeared of Devil’s Courthouse and Chestnut Bald.
The trail levels out for the next mile, until it bifurcates for a .3 mile hike down to Courthouse Falls.
I finished Summey Cove Trail and decided to hike on F.S. 140 to Hwy. 215 and then back to my car.
Total mileage is 4.4 miles.