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    Leslie Rust reviewed Big Creek Gulf, Big Creek Rim, and Stone Door Trails Loop

    8 months ago

    Beautiful October day for hiking. I went down to BCG from the Stone Door. It’s not quite ‘rock hell’ as someone else said, but it is rocky and rugged—more a rock purgatory. Highly recommend trekking poles and closed-toe shoes/boots. I went up to Ranger Falls as well which was a good side trail—flowing nicely. Yes, the climb up BCG to Alum Gap is straight, steep, and strenuous. I stretched out a hammock at Alum Gap and took lunch and a nice break. BCR is a delightful trail with occasional overlooks and plenty of beautiful woods—a nice amble.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Beech Gap to Bob Bald

    8 months ago

    Crisp fall day, leaves crackling underfoot, views into the Blue Ridge and across to the Cumberlands—nice hike today. Reminds me of the lower section of Sunkota Ridge in the GSMNP—walking right along the ridge with views to either side. The ‘bald’ is now grown up with birches and beeches, but it is still a good trail for solitude and scenery.

    Leslie Rust completed Beech Gap to Bob Bald

    8 months ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Old Copper Road Trail

    8 months ago

    An easy walk. The day we hiked it was a nice, quiet walk in the woods which is just what we were lookiing for—no spectacular scenery, no astounding aspects. The attraction is the river and the rocks.

    Leslie Rust completed Old Copper Road Trail

    8 months ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Jump Off Trail via Appalachain Trail

    9 months ago

    A great day for hiking with scenic views in all directions, but you also have to watch your feet as there are rocks, roots, and some tricky footing here and there. But it is well worth the time and effort.

    Leslie Rust reviewed North Old Mac Mountain Trail

    9 months ago

    North Old Mac was a delight today. Good single track tread with plenty of quiet woods. The tower had good views. Coming back down South Old Mac is a lot different—more rocks, more roots, more toe-biters and ankle-grabbers. Tub Spring Campsite is a great place to string up a hammock and rest a bit before heading back down.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Spruce Flats Falls Trail

    9 months ago

    A short, and steep in places, hike to a lovely waterfall. The trail is not very well maintained and has plenty of rocks and roots--you have to watch your steps carefully. A couple of nice mountain views. We saw a bear cub when we hiked it, but no mama bear or siblings.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Black Mountain Trail

    9 months ago

    A good hike with a well-maintained trail. Nice woods. Enjoyed the rocks at the top. It gets a bit overgrown towards the end of the season, but nothing too bad. Almost stepped on a 3' copperhead sunning itself on some rocks--keep an eye out for snakes around the rocks.

    Leslie Rust completed Black Mountain Trail

    9 months ago

    Leslie Rust followed Maggie Rust

    9 months ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Falls Branch Trail

    10 months ago

    It's a fairly short hike, but it does get steep heading down and up again. There are places where the footing is tricky--roots, rocks, slicks. But the falls are lovely. Had a quiet day with no one else around, so solitude factor was good as well.

    Leslie Rust completed Falls Branch Trail

    10 months ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Carlanna Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    Good trail into some old forest. The lake is nice, but the woods are better. Did it on a rainy day (go figure) with a friend. We really enjoyed the stillness and silence of the rain forest. Didn't go all the way to the top, but it is a good, accessible walk from town.

    Leslie Rust completed Carlanna Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Indian Boundary Lake Trail

    12 months ago

    A great stroll along the lake with mountain views. Easy and enjoyable.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Athens Regional Park Trail

    12 months ago

    I've walked this trail countless times; I like it because it gets me in the woods only a few minutes from the house. After climbing the first little bit and getting in the woods you can hear more birds and breeze than traffic. I just do the woods/steeper section down to the creek and then turn around; the flat section does nothing for me. Some wildflowers in the spring (trillium, may apples) and some nice hardwoods.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Cherohala Skyway

    about 1 year ago

    The Cherohala has similarities to the Blue Ridge Parkway, though it is shorter and an up-and-down across the Unicoi Crest. But it is a great stretch of drive that puts you in the mountains with great views, numerous trailheads, picnic tables, and all the spectacular seasonal scenery. It is not as crowded as either the BRP or the GSMNP. Often there are lots of motorcyclists which one would expect on this type of road, but I've also had days where there were very few people at all. A nice get-away to some great destinations.

    Leslie Rust completed Cherohala Skyway

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust saved Huckleberry Knob Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Huckleberry Knob Trail

    about 1 year ago

    One of the few true 360º views around. Sat last week on Hooper Bald looking across at the top and said to ourselves, "That's where we want to be." So this week we decided to go. It is an easy walk with the added bonus of Oak Knob. We could see endless blue ridges, watch the sky, enjoy the sun, feel the soft grass--just a delight. Looking forward to returning many times in the days to come.

    Leslie Rust completed Huckleberry Knob Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Eureka Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Eureka Trail is a Rails to Trail in Athens, TN. It is an easy multiuse trail. You will see folks walking, biking, running, and occasionally on horseback. There is ample parking at the trailhead; there are plans to extend the trail all the way from Athens to Englewood. It winds between fields and forest; it crosses two county roads; there is a short .6 loop on the trailhead end as well. There is presently some storm damage in the woods from a tornado in Nov/2016, but it does not affect the trail itself. A good walk, run, ride location close to town.

    Leslie Rust completed Eureka Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust updated Eureka Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    I first walked this trail when I was a boy in 1960s. It is great to see the giants still standing in this special sanctuary. Glad to see the fire damage didn't reach the upper loop. Huge poplars that have withstood centuries of wear and tear help humble us short-lived little folk. I encourage everyone to make the journey (which is also delightful across the Cherohala Skyway for us in Tennessee) to see these ancient wonders while they are here.
    A couple other notes. There are nice bridges on this trail; the NFS did well. Also lots of birds--saw and heard some wonderful warblers.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Hooper Bald

    about 1 year ago

    Easy to find trailhead on Cherohala Skyway. Easy trail out to the bald which offers great views back towards the Tennessee side. Lots of azalea, buttercups, and blackberry blooms the day we were there. Hard to imagine a better place to sit/lay down and watch clouds forming and reforming.

    Leslie Rust completed Hooper Bald

    about 1 year ago

    Leslie Rust reviewed Pogue Creek Canyon Overlook Trail

    about 1 year ago

    This is another hidden gem. Well-graded, well-maintained, lightly-used, lovely woods. The overlook reminds me of Savage Gulf only smaller. There is a lovely bench on a rock shelf that invites you to sit and enjoy the woods awhile; I was trying to do it pretty quick, but I couldn't help but linger there a bit. It's also next to the Pickett-Pogue Astronomy Field.

    Leslie Rust reviewed Hazard Cave and Natural Bridge Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Found this to be a nice walk in the woods. The cave is impressive; the natural bridge is too! Well maintained with good signage. We had a lovely day to walk and lots of peace and quiet. Caught the last little bit of Mountain Laurel blooms which delighted my daughter greatly.