Pond Mountain Wilderness – Laurel Falls Trail

December 2, 2018

It’s been several months since my last blog entry. While I have not been idle, I decided to take a break from writing. In November, my brother-in-law and I hiked the Bartram Trail. It was nice to not write every day, to take pictures for fun and generally just enjoy a hike. But, I have missed blogging and look forward to picking it back up with vigor.

Yesterday was quite unusual; sunny, 65 degree days don’t happen often in December. Since just days before it was 15 degrees and snowing, I jumped at the chance to spend the day outside.

Pond Mountain Wilderness is located near Hampton, Tennessee, just a 45 minute drive from Boone, North Carolina. If you have heard of this wilderness, it’s likely because the Appalachian Trail traverses it, before crossing Watauga Lake and reaching Damascus, Virginia.

The Laurel Falls trail (blue-blazed) starts on the outskirts of town near a highly visible sign.  Upon entering Pond Mountain Wilderness, it joins the Appalachian Trail. The trail is nothing short of delightful. It mostly traverses Laurel Fork, giving wonderful glimpses of cliffs, Laurel Fork Gorge, towering yellow pine, and an awesome climb up the ridge near the gorge. The trail ends with a wonderful 40’ waterfall.

Total mileage is 5.27 miles.


13 thoughts on “Pond Mountain Wilderness – Laurel Falls Trail

  1. Beautiful country, Jonathan. Nice photos. We have much in common… as I read of your getting away from writing, yet missing the blogging… I can relate. My blogging has slowed up for a number of reasons, but I miss it. Finally got one out again last night… and am headed up to the SHT within the hour w/ my wife, to snowshoe for a few days. But you’ll be reading about it soon enough. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to see you back! I also had some news I wanted to share with my favorite bloggers: I have set a date for my PCT thru hike! April 6, 2020. So about 15 months. I’m planning on blogging it, but trying to figure out the best way to do it without burning out on trail.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. PCT has been my plan since about 2013 when I first got into hiking and backpacking. I found a PCT blog and I was just floored so it has always been my preference of the Big 3 since. Of course they are all amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, though that is one of my last pieces of gear I’ve yet to buy. Pretty sure I’m going with the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1. It’s free standing, which I really want for the Sierra and the tech has gotten it so light these days I think it’s worth it. It’s close to on par with some of the tarptents and similar. I’m not ready to make the jump to a full on tarp yet. I’ve never slept well in hammocks.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Awesome Mike! Picking my shelter has been an agonizing decision. I’m probably going to purchase it this spring or summer and take it on a couple of hikes to test so I can return it if I don’t like it, but it does have rave reviews from thru hikers.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s