January 29, 2017
“To many a city man there comes a time when the great town wearies him. He hates its sights and smells and clangor. Every duty is a task and every caller is a bore. There come visions of green fields and far-rolling hills, of tall forests and cool, swift flowing streams.”
-Horace Kephart, Camping and Woodcraft
Bad Fork is is short trail, only 1.9 miles, but it is steep in spots. My boss, Larry and I started at the Wash Creek Trailhead off F.S. 5000 (right at the same spot I started last week’s hike at Bear Branch Trail). From the gate, we walked .5 miles to the Bad Fork Trailhead, near two (2) camping spots. The first mile is a gentle grade, with lush views of foliage near the creek. The last .9 miles are straight uphill. I have read accounts, including on the Forest Service site, that there was extreme erosion on the trail, but it looks that extensive work has been completed to stop this.
The trail summits at the Blue Ridge Parkway at Bent Creek Gap. We then took the leisurely, but longer route back to the car via F.S. 5000 and were presented with some nice winter views to the east.
Total mileage is 6.89 miles.