Trail: The Boone Fork Trail, Milepost 297.1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance: 4.9 mile loop
Date Hiked: May 4, 2018
This is the second time I've hiked this moderate loop, and I'm putting it in my Top Ten list. What's not to love?
It has open meadows with gorgeous views, an old apple tree and, if you're so inclined, a nice camp site at the top.
If you hike clockwise, this open meadow is at the beginning of the hike.
After that, it's a lovely stroll through rhododendron slicks following Bee Tree Creek for much of the way. Rock-hopping skills required. And a little boulder scrambling skills don't hurt, either, especially once you reach the much bigger Boone Fork Creek which tumbles over some short-bus sized boulders which are perfect for lounging and sunning after dipping into the fast moving water.
Along the way, we spotted a patch of blood-red trillium in bloom.
The trail passes right through the Julian Price Memorial Park, where, if you're lucky like we were, you can snag a lake-side car camping site. They have kayak and canoe rentals at the boat ramp and a sweet 2.5 mile trail that circumambulates the lake.
Go early. Like NOW!
You get a little bit of everything that hiking in the North Carolina mountains has to offer along this trail. The views. The water. Wildflowers. Ladders. Crowds.
Yeah...go early if you're crowd-shy like I am. Early in the day and early in the season. I think we planned it just perfectly. We got there Thursday afternoon and walked the lake trail in the evening. (It was frog-mating season. Enough to make you blush.)
We campervanned that night next to the lake, then rolled out of bed to hit the trail at about 8 am and only started running into the hordes at the end of our hike around one.
I KNOW! Five hours to go five miles. What kind of thru-hiker does that?
A newer model thru-hiker. I'm recently dedicated to taking my time, stopping to lollygag on warm flat rocks and to sketch what strikes me.
I carried my full pack as a nod to training for my last 400 miles of the AT. That starts in three weeks at Springer Mountain. WOOT!
I'm gonna miss the van, though!