The Avery Creek area near Brevard is an area that both Phil and I have driven by our entire lives but never stopped to investigate. We turned right off Hwy 276 just past the rangers station on our way out of Brevard. The dirt road through this low valley has several roadside camping sites, horse stables and trailheads. We parked and began our hike on the same trail as last Saturday going up Bennett Gap trail (south to north) over Coon Tree Gap. When we reached Saddle Gap, rather than hiking down Perry Cove trail, walking the ridge tops and down to Bennett Gap where it crosses Avery Creek Rd. Continuing on, we climbed up to Buckwheat Knob, and had great views off both sides of the trail. There were some killer camping spots on this ridge. We saw no water source, so you would have to pack in all of your water.
We hiked several significant PUDs*. I don’t like going down when I know I still have to go up!
Leaving the ridge, we hiked down to Buckhorn Gap. The shelter there was in such a pretty setting. It was situated beside a spring coming right out a big rock. The ridges rose up on all sides making the shelter secluded and protected from wind and storms. As a consequence, though, it might get buggy in warmer weather.
From Buckhorn Gap, we climbed up and crossed a forest road #5059 and then on up the other side. The trail got steep again in places going up Clawhammer Mountain and then on to Black Mountain. More PUDs*! This trail is not for wimps. The view of the valleys off both sides were really nice, though.
So, after traveling about 3/4 of our total distance, we finally reached the apex of our hike when we topped Black Mountain. We then started down. It was steep. Not as steep as Old Butt Knob Trail, but still, it was very steep. We took the Pressley Cove trail the last 1.1 miles back to the truck and the sign at this trail junction listed Pressley Cove as “Most Difficult.” And, it was. The feet bones were bruised, the knees and hip joints were screaming by the time we reached the truck.
- Total Miles: 10.8
- Total Elevation: 3000’+-
My fitbit personal activity tracker step count on this hike was over 29,700 steps! By the time I got home and got dinner, the step count went over 30,000 steps for Saturday! That is a LOT of pounding on your feet. Yes sir! My feet hurt.