Trail: The Art Loeb Trail, section 3, from Black Balsam Knob to Shining Rock, out & back
Weather: Fog in the morning clearing to on again/off again sun. Warm.
Trail conditions: wet and muddy.
Rating: Top 10! (Also, strenuous).
Date Hiked: 8/14/16
It's been years since I've been on this trail. I remembered it as a ball-buster.
But I'm in better shape now. I'm the one who's busting balls.
So despite Saturday crowds coupled with hard-core blueberry pickers (one guy had a gun on his hip to protect his loot), this hike is going back in the rotation.
It is spectacular and fun and everything you'd want in a hike...
- Interesting and varied terrain across open balds with plenty of 360 degree views.
- Challenging. In a good way.
- A plethora of fine places to pitch a tent.
- Destination Shining Rock, a giant quartz outcropping that surely is some kind of New Age vortex that will put you in direct contact with the Universe.
- Did I mention the views? Sam's Knob, Shining Rock, Cold Mountain, Mt. Pisgah, Looking Glass Rock, John Rock, Cedar Rock.
This is my new favorite hike.
Also, did I mention Blueberries?
They were everywhere and peaking.
The grazing and picking will slow down your hiking speed, though. We made terrible time because the blueberries were leaping off the bushes and into our mouths.
But here's what happens the day after a blueberry hike...
I'm training for my upcoming Appalachian Trail thru-hike and I'm fortunate to live in a place that makes training easy and fun.
Stay tuned for more Friday Faves--my favorite training hikes in my lead-up to my thru-hike. Which I'm certain will be the mother of all ball-busters.
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