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.