March 5, 2017
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
—Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Spring is making itself felt in the mountains of North Carolina. It is early March, but already the bees are buzzing and flowers protrude looking for sunshine. With life pressing upon me on every side with decisions, I had a wonderful three hours alone on fairly easy trails, full of contemplation.
Fletcher Creek and Middle Fork are hidden at the north end of the North Mills River area. To get to Fletcher, hike 1.2 miles down F.S. 142 and the trailhead is on the right before the Hendersonville Reservoir. The first .4 miles are moderately uphill, but the trail evens out. At the end of Fletcher, take a left on F.S. 5097 (a.k.a. The Never Ending Road) for 1.6 miles until you see Middle Fork’s trailhead on the left. Middle Fork is quite pleasant with several small cascades and falls along the route.
Total mileage is 10.1 miles.