Gregory Ridge Trail, Gregory Bald Trail

April 24, 2023

These trails span a rigid dichotomy in hiking terrain. The Ridge Trail is steadier, winds up and out of a lush creek valley, and has some very nice switchbacks. The Bald Trail wouldn’t know a switchback if it saw one, has some brutal ups-and-downs and on this day, a large amount of wild boars.

Starting from Forge Creek parking area, the trail meanders near a creek for nearly two miles until campsite #12, then steers up Gregory Ridge through verdant forest. It was truly a pleasure to hike the trail on this chilly morning. The sun came up slowly, exposing the nearby mountains and the view west was lovely. At the summit of the Ridge Trail, I had a slight sliver of Gregory Bald to grab. At only 4 miles there and back, it would be easy, right? Good grief, that is a tough section of trail. I don’t know much about boar, but I know they love them some Gregory Bald Trail. As the scat and grubbed up dirt appeared, I knew they were in the area, but didn’t see any till near the connection with the Appalachian Trail. Heading back and then down Gregory Bald Trail, there were two small striped boar that scattered, almost cute. Once down from the Bald, it was an easy hike back via Parson Branch Road. Of note are two amazing poplars about halfway down the Bald Trail.

Total mileage is 17.5 miles.

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