Sandy Rumsey

 

...an ordinary person

2020 Hike log

Trillium Grandiflorum

2020 Hiking Log

Miles Hiked in 2020

Total Elevation Gain: 42,699 ft

 

Hiking Trails

Avery Creek Loop

Avery Creek Loop

This is a VERY HARD hike.  What makes it hard is the elevation gain … going down hill … and having to re-climb the same 500 feet … over and over. In my opinion, it is easier to hike counter-clockwise. You climb a lot of the elevation early in the hike while you are still fresh. We’ve hiked it clockwise, but that way, 2/3 of the hike is uphill.

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Bearwallow Mtn. Trail

Bearwallow Mountain

The trailhead is at Bearwallow Gap, located at the crest of Bearwallow Mountain Road where the road surface turns from gravel to pavement. Park on the graveled area on the shoulder of the road. 

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Big Creek Trail @ Little Pisgah Ridge

Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway by the Little Pisgah Ridge Tunnel to access Big Creek Trail, beginning elevation 4720′. The trail descends 2 1/2 miles down to Big Creek, elevation 2976′. The trail is wooded drops down the spine of the ridge with a lot of mountain laurel at the top and hardwoods at the bottom. Wildflowers grow all along the trail.

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Black Balsam to Tenant Mtn.

The section of the Art Loeb trail from the Ivestor Gap Access Road over Black Balsam and Tenant Mtn is easy to get to and a fairly easy little walk with spectacular views.

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Black Mountain

The highlight of the trail is Buckhorn Gap Shelter. It is picturesque with a spring just feet from the shelter.

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Buck Springs

This trail travels from the back of the Pisgah Inn down to Hw6 276 just above the pink beds (1.5 miles from the Cradle of Forestry). The entire trail is listed as 6.2 miles one way.

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Buckhorn Gap

Buckhorn Gap Trailhead lies just 2.6 miles off Hwy 276 on Avery Creek Rd. The road is narrow and there is only room for 4 or 5 cars to park.

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Spiked Lobelia

Cat Gap Loop

This is actually an easy and quick way to get over 1 thousand feet of vertical. The trailhead begins at the fish hatchery near Brevard, NC. Many campsites are virtually within a few feet of the trail and some are very close to the trailhead along the Davison River.

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Cedar Rock

Cedar Rock Summit

Park in the Hatchery Parking Lot and begin the Cat Gap Loop trail hiking counter clockwise. You will walk past Picklesimer Fields. Continue on this trail bearing right toward Cat Gap at the intersection of the shortcut cut-off trail.  When you get to Cat Gap, turn sharply to the right on the Art Loeb. In about .6 mile, at Sandy Gap, there will be a trail that cuts off to the right beside a really big oak tree with a faded red blaze.

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Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock. It’s one part living classroom, one part outdoor gym.

With ample opportunities to learn and explore, along with hiking trails, climbing opportunities, and exciting ways to break a sweat and stay fit, you’re in for a bit of learning, and a bit of fitness.

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The College M

College “M”

The College “M” trail is a short but steep hike almost within the city limits of Bozeman. It starts at the nose of the Bridger Mountains. It climbs up the first peak to an area where Montana State University students have constructed a large “M” that can be seen for miles.

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Coon Tree Loop

Coon Tree Loop

Phil and I have been driving by the Coon Tree Picnic area on Hwy 276 for over 40 years! It is only this year (2013) that we have become interested in hiking around this area. The Coon Tree Picnic area has a nice safe parking lot next to bathrooms with flushing toilets. It is a convenient place to park and begin our short hike up to Coon Tree Gap where it intersects with Bennett Gap Trail.

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Daisy Dean

Daisy Dean Creek Trail
aka Daisy Canyon Trail #619

Daisy Dean Trailhead, Trail 619, aka Daisy Canyon Trail … begins at the Daisy Creek Campground. Take the meadow trail # 619 thru forest and open meadows. There is one creek crossing before you reach the narrows.  You might get your feet a little wet during high water seasons.  

The Narrows is 2.5 miles from the trailhead. The creek goes thru a narrow canyon with 200 foot high cliffs on either side.  At this point, the trail is actually in the creek.  We stopped our hike without going thru this canyon because rain was expected and it is very dangerous to get caught in a flash flood in the canyon.

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Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Loop

This trail is easy to get to in winter months when the parkway is closed.

The trail begins on a gravel road for the first .1 mile, crossing a new “bridge to nowhere” then forks left at a carsonite sign.

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Elk Pasture Gap

Elk Pasture Gap to Pisgah (MTS)

Around 1890, the Shut-In trail was created by George W. Vanderbilt to link his Biltmore home with his hunting and outdoor lodge at Buck Springs (Near the current Pisgah Inn). While many think of this trail as following the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s actually the other way around, since the parkway wasn’t built until the 1930’s.

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Flat Laurel Creek

Flat Laurel Creek via Hwy 215

Park where the Mountains to the Sea Trail intersects Hwy 215 north of the Blueridge Parkway and hike east on the Mountains to the Sea Trail. Hike a little over 2 miles and fork left on Little Sam Knob trail. Hike for approximately 1.5 miles to the intersection of the Flat Laurel Creek Trail and take a left. Hike back down to Hwy 215.

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Fryingpan Mtn

Fryingpan Mtn Tower

The hike departs from a grassy parking area just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 409.6, several miles south of Mt Pisgah. (Compared to other popular hikes on the Parkway, like Black Balsam Knob and the uber-popular Graveyard Fields waterfalls, the hike’s understated trailhead is easy to miss. Park off the Parkway and don’t block the metal gate.)

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Grassy Mountain

Grassy Mountain, MT

Grassy Mountain is located near White Sulphur Springs, Montana just off Highway 12. There are several ways to hike to the top of Grassy Mountain.

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Graveyard Ridge Loop

This section of the Art Loeb Trail begins on the right of F.R. 816 at the Black Balsam parking area 0.8 mile north of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Green Knob

Green Knob from Wagon Road Gap

The Mountains to the Sea Trail crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway several times. One of those spots is just south of Wagon Road Gap. We hike this little trail when we want something quick and easy to get to. It is accessible when the parkway is closed. The trail is less than 1/2 mile from the gate at Wagon Road Gap.

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Jakes Creek – Cucumber Gap – Little River Trail Loop

Leaving Gatlinburg and traveling south on Smoky Mtn. Parkway take a right at the ranger’s station. Drive a few miles and turn left into Elkmont. Follow the signs to Jake’s Creek Trail.

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John Rock

John Rock Loop

Park at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery near Brevard. The John Rock trail can be accessed  from either direction from the parking lot.

If you are hiking counter clockwise, you will take the Cat Gap Bypass and follow that until the John Rock trail intersects at the gap.  Turn left and go up.

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Jump Off

Jump Off near Newfound Gap

The hike to the Jump Off begins from the Newfound Gap parking area. Hikers will travel eastbound along the Appalachian Trail to reach this rock outcropping. The steady climb over the course of the first two miles of this hike will quickly leave the crowds behind at Newfound Gap.

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Long Ridge Trail

Starting point: Big Hungry Rd., 2.9 mi. beyond the bridge at Big Hungry River on the right.

Easy gravel road walk.

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Middle Prong Wilderness

Middle Prong Wilderness

We park at the Rough Butt Bald parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Howard Gap. On the north side of the parkway, travel east on the Mountains to the Sea Trail to the intersection of Buckeye Gap Trail. Turn left onto Buckeye Gap Trail.

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Mountains to the Sea (BRP Section)

Starting at Clingman’s Dome (the highest point in Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park). It travels over Mount Mitchell (the highest mountain in the entire Appalachian chain), and through Jockey’s Ridge State Park (the highest sand dune on the East Coast). It’s also the longest trail in the State, and one of the longest in the Appalachian region.

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MP 420 Maintenance Trail

Near MP 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway across from the Black Balsam Road entrance, there is a short little maintenance trail that runs parallel to the road. The trail is easy and has a really nice spot 5 minutes from the car to sit on the rocks and have a picnic. The views are nice. This is a great trail for small children.

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Mt. Cammerer

Mt. Cammerer is also known as Sharp Top or White Top. The Appalachian Trail traverses it’s south slope and is part of the Smoky Mountain National Park system. Elevation 4928′.

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Mt. Hardy

Mt. Hardy

Park in the pull off on the west side of highway 215, 0.45 mile north of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is room here for a half dozen or more cars.

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Mt. LeConte Lodge to Myrtle Point

Walk up the steps from the Lodge to the trail and turn left.  Follow the trail past the shelter.  Make sure you bear right at the Boulevard trail junction. Follow the knife edge ridge trail to the point.

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Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Trail

The Alum Cave Trail (also referred to as Alum Cave Bluff Trail) is an American hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Sevier County, Tennessee. The trail ascends Mount Le Conte, the “tallest” (and sixth highest) mountain east of the Mississippi River and passes by many notable landmarks, such as Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, the Duckhawk Peaks, and Cliff Top, before merging with Rainbow Falls Trail near the summit.

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Mt. LeConte via The Boulevard Trail

  • The Boulevard Trail is longest route to the summit of Mount Le Conte (elev. 6,593 ft (2,010 m); 2,010 m)
  • The path follows the Appalachian Trail for 2.7 miles (4.3 km), between Newfound Gap and Charlie’s Bunion

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Mt. LeConte via Rainbow Falls Trail

Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road, upon which you’ll enter into Great Smoky Mountain National Park. After driving another 2.2 miles you’ll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop Road. After driving roughly 0.6 miles on the loop, the Rainbow Falls Trailhead will be located on your right (if this parking lot is full, there’s an auxiliary parking area about a tenth-of-a-mile further down the road).

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Mt. Pisgah

Mt. Pisgah Trailhead is located near mile marker 408 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (National Park). It is heavily traveled. Park in the second parking lot, the first is for Buck Spring’s Trail.

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Newfound Gap to Indian Gap

The Appalachian Trail crosses the Smoky Mountain Parkway at Newfound Gap. Leaving the gap and hiking south on the AT takes you to the junction of Indian Gap.

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Bridger Mountains

North 40

The North 40 perimeter loop circles our house on Mountain View Trail. One time around the perimeter is 1.1 miles and climbs down and out of 2 deep draws. The mid point roadside elevation is approximately 6510′.

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Old Butt Knob – Shining Creek Loop

Make no mistake. This is a hard hike either way you do it. We hiked this loop counter-clockwise so we could get most of the elevation gain done in the beginning of the hike. We parked at the trailhead and walked in .7 miles to the junction and took the right fork up Old Butt Knob trail.

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Perry Cove – Bennet Gap Loop

Bennet Gap Trail is accessed off Avery Creek Road near Brevard. The trail ascends 1135 feet to the gap. We climbed clockwise to the gap to the junction of Perry Cove Trail. Perry Cove Trail descends rapidly back to the road.

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Pisgah Trail System

Pilot Rock from Pisgah Inn Parking Log

This hike, we pieced together from the Pisgah Inn Parking Lot to the bottom of Pilot Rock. Beginning along the Mountains to the Sea Trail, turn south and go over Little Bald Mountain following the trail down around Pilot Rock.

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On the Summit of Pinnacle

Pinnacle Mountain Trail @ Table Rock

The Pinnacle Mountain Trail begins at the Nature Center. You will take the Carrick Creek Trail to the left when you get to the sign for Carrick Creek and Table Rock trails. You will follow this trail along Carrick Creek. When you see the sign for Pinnacle Mountain, go to the left. From this point you will follow the yellow marks. You will find this to be an adventurous trail with downed trees and rocky passes that you will have to climb.

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Porter’s Creek

Turn right on Greenbriar Road at Park Entrance sign off US Hwy 321 5.9 miles east of Gatlinburg. Continue on Greenbriar Road 4.1 miles to end of loop. Look for trail and trail marker.

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Pressley Cove to Pressley Gap

Pressley Cove Trail is accessed from Avery Creek Road (Forest Service Road #477). Beginning at 2325 ft. of elevation, the trail climbs steeply for 1.1 miles ( 968 ft  elevation gain) to Forest Service Rd #5022. Turn right onto the road and walk for .2 miles to Pressley Gap, elevation 3328 ft.

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Pullium Creek Trailhead

Pulliam Creek Trail in the Green River Gamelands

Pulliam Creek Trail is an out and back trail located near Saluda, North Carolina that features a wild river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from March until October. The trail is wide and gentle without rocks or roots.

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Rumbling Bald

The Rumbling Bald trail in Hickory Nut Gorge isn’t quite finished yet. At present, it is developed for the first mile with a wide gravel trail through the woods. The rest of the loop is there, so we walked it all the way around, but it is a little rough and muddy in some areas.

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Sacajawea Peak

Sacajawea Peak, Bridger Mountains, MT

From Bozeman, MT take Highway 86 N toward Bridger Canyon.  Drive approximately 20 miles and take Fairy Lake Road on the left.  The trailhead is approximately 7 miles. Be advised that Fairy Lake Road is rutted out badly. You will need a vehicle with a lot of clearance and 4WD is advised.  Some of the ruts are over a foot deep and as wide as the road so there is no getting around them.  You have to go through them.  The road bed has washed down to exposed rock.  It is like driving on a river bed. It took us 40 minutes to drive the 7 miles on Fairy Lake Rd.

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Sam Knob

Sam’s Knob

From Asheville, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway south for 26.5 miles past the NC 191 Parkway access. Turn right on FR 816 (Black Balsam Road) just past milepost 420; a sign reads “Black Balsam”. Follow this road to the end at the parking area. The parking lot gets crowded quickly on weekends, so plan to arrive early if you want a spot.

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Shut-In Trail

Around 1890, the Shut-In trail was created by George W. Vanderbilt to link his Biltmore home with his hunting and outdoor lodge at Buck Springs (Near the current Pisgah Inn). While many think of this trail as following the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s actually the other way around, since the parkway wasn’t built until the 1930’s.

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Stony Bald to Elk Pasture Gap on the MTS

This segment of the Mountain to the Sea Trail is fairly easy walk in the woods. This particular day, there were more trillium blooming than I’ve ever seen on a trail. It took longer because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park has an extensive trail system and is the access point to the Foothills Trail. The trails are as follows (not round trip):

  • Nature Center – beginning – elevation 1160′
  • Carrick Creek Loop – 1.9 Miles –
  • Mill Creek Pass – .6 Mile
  • Pinnacle Mountain Trail – 4.1 Miles – elevation 3425′
  • Ridge Trail – 1.9 Miles
  • Table Rock – 3.6 Miles – elevation 3124′

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Thomas Divide Trail to Kanati Fork Junction

The Thomas Divide trailhead is near the NC/TN border on the Smoky Mountains Parkway. It is a gentle trail that runs the ridge from the parkway out to Kanati Fork Junction. The elevation change is gradual and the hike is relatively short. This is a great little hike for small children and newbies.

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Trombatore Trail

Trailhead Parking: Take Hwy 64 east from 1-26 in Hendersonville, NC. About 2 1/2 miles past I-26, turn left on Fruitland Rd. Next, turn left on Old Clear Creek Rd go only a few hundred yards and turn right on Bearwallow Mountain Rd. Follow Bearwallow Mountain Road and after a few miles, you will have to turn right again to stay on Bearwallow Mountain Road. Drive past Grand Highlands Development and about 1/4 mile the road turns into a gravel road at the parking spot for the Trombatore Trail.

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Get In Touch

It doesn't matter how slowly you go, as long as you DO NOT STOP

---- Confucious

a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step

----Lao Tzu

Think outside

No box required

----unknown