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    Michael Vaughn saved Gully Creek Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Michael Vaughn saved John Rock Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Michael Vaughn reviewed Nuwati Trail

    4 months ago

    This was a great little trail to pick up over summer. You're well-covered most of the way under a tree canopy that sometimes closes in to be charming and cozy. The trail itself is mostly uphill and peaceful. There's camping at the end (including a rope line to put your food out of reach). My biggest complaints are the folks who hike in with four itty bittys and a 16oz bottle of water to share between the lot of them, and the utter ambiguousness of the trail ending. It ditches into a series of small campsites, but has no definite end. I ended up traipsing around the woods trying to figure out if there was a view I was somehow missing, before giving up and scrambling up a few rock faces. The views were pretty decent, though challenging to track down.

    I *strongly* suggest that if you have the time (and energy, snacks, and water), that you take at least a half mile jaunt up the Cragway Trail (you can access it a little ways back from the end of the Nuwati). The Cragway is steep, narrow, and strenuous, but the views even a little ways up are fantastic. If you're feeling ambitious, you can keep going until you hit the Daniel Boone Scout Trail, take a left, and you'll loop all the way back to the start of the Nuwati (I obviously suggest looking up that route on AllTrails so you're not going in blind).

    Michael Vaughn reviewed Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail

    5 months ago

    A relatively quick, and moderately challenging trail, with a nice variety of views. I use this as my go-to training trail as I ramp up my carry weight. There's a fair amount of traffic here, including people out for a walk and folks with their dogs (no complaints from me on that count!). This is only problematic in some stretches of the trail that can be fairly narrow. The views transition nicely between tree canopies, the Eno River, a former rock quarry, and then a worthwhile panoramic view from the top. As a heads up: Don't expect a jaw-dropping view of the river. This stretch is very brown, and offers barely perceptible movement. Better river views can be had a few miles away at Eno River State Park if that's your preference. I suggest starting the trailhead at the top of the parking lot, instead of the one down the gravel road. The start takes you fairly close to I-85, and you'll hear a good bit of traffic noise for the first 10-20 minutes, but the further you get into the woods the more it fades away into the sounds of nature. It's cathartic. You feel like you're actually taking a mini-break from society. Plus that way you don't have end by coming *back* to highway sounds. The trail winds up a steady incline, before winding down to the river. At that point it starts a steeper climb back up. You can hop off on a little spur to check out the old quarry, or continue up a steep incline toward some power lines, before entering back into the woods. An optional climb to the top will provide the great view you see represented in the photos. Fair warning: This trail system is very accessible, so you will find a good and steady number of other guests there who will be far less sweaty than you. The rest of the trail is fairly easy. After a moderate incline through a beautiful tree canopy, you'll crest a hill where the trees start to open up. From there it's an easy, gentle walk back down, highlighted by two ponds you can optionally stop off to look at. All-in-all, it's a great little hike that has a little bit of everything.

    Michael Vaughn reviewed Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower

    5 months ago

    I really want to like this trail more, but just can't fall in love with it. The entire, brief hike up is entirely on a rough gravel road, leaving all sorts of little stones in your boots by the time you summit. The tower, while an interesting feature, is locked at the top and bars entry. You can climb up the steps a bit, but it only has so much appeal. The trail is also gaining in popularity, and you'll find yourself competing with quite a few others to take turns climbing up the tower steps. Speaking of the competition: There's no formal parking lot for this trail. You'll be fighting for a spot on the side of the road. I found the views really comparable to a pull-off just a half mile to the south on the BRP, and regret not putting my time on another trail instead.

    Michael Vaughn completed Chestnut Oak Loop

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Hillsborough Riverwalk

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn reviewed Little Beehive via Lake Agnes Trail

    5 months ago

    Great views all around, with very picturesque stops along the way. As a heads up, since the park won't give you one: The Tea House near the top of the lake trail is closed in winter. Be prepared to deal with a plethora of tourists in very poorly selected footwear, especially so if snow is on the ground. I strongly suggest bringing grips or your best snow boots so you can go back down the mountain on something besides your behind ;)

    Michael Vaughn added Mebane

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Cox Mountain Trail

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Nuwati Trail

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Rough Ridge

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Mountain Laurel Trails

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Five Peaks Hike

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn completed Mount Pisgah Trail

    5 months ago

    Michael Vaughn saved House Mountain

    9 months ago

    Michael Vaughn saved Five Peaks Hike

    about 1 year ago

    Michael Vaughn saved Riverwalk Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Michael Vaughn saved Rough Ridge

    over 1 year ago

    Michael Vaughn saved Nuwati Trail

    over 1 year ago