July 17, 2016
I’m glad to be back in North Carolina, on the familiar trails that I know and love. Maybe everyone feels that way about home. But, there’s something special about having Shining Rock Wilderness and Pisgah Forest in your backyard. Those staggering peaks over 6,000 feet, the balds with views for miles in every direction. The Turk’s Cap Lilly, the tall grass, the mud under your shoes after a rain storm.
My brother-in-law, Frank was in town for the weekend, so we arrived at the Black Balsam parking lot of the BRP early, before the masses of weekend warriors arrived. We went north on Ivestor Gap Trail for 1.5 miles where it meets Ivestor Gap. We then jumped on the Art Loeb Trail, summiting Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam Knob, before returning to the parking lot via the Art Loeb Spur. The Connector is only .6 miles and not overly steep. This is a great hike for relatives in town, with some of the best views in the area.
Total mileage is 3.6 miles.