August 15, 2006
|This week's hike was on two trails in the Highlands, NC area.
HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Jack Jacobi, Wayne Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - First, the Whiteside Mountain Trail is one of the more popular trails in NC. It is a 2 mile loop that brings you up to the rim of the massive rock cliffs of Whiteside Mountain. The views are absolutely breathtaking as you walk to a series of overlooks that allow you to look down from the top of the awesome rock cliffs.! Next, we went to the other side of Highlands to the Glen Falls area and hiked the Chinquapin Mountain Trail. This is a nice walk up the mountain to a series of 5 overlooks that give great views of the mountains around Highlands. We did an out and back hike of 4+ miles -
Total hiking distance today - 6+ miles. average to moderate difficulty.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS - Whiteside Mountain is about halfway between Highlands and Cashiers off of Hwy 64 turn onto Whiteside Mtn. Rd and go about 1 mile to the parking lot. Chinquapin Mountain Trail is approximately 2 miles south of Highlands off of Hwy 106 turn at the Glen Falls sign and park at the Glen Falls / Chinquapin Mountain trail-head.
Another great day for a hike! Mostly cloudy, temperatures ranging from the low 70's to the low 80's..
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: White Wood Aster,White Snakeroot, Southern Harebells, Tall Goldenrod, Tall White Asters, Blue Asters, Coreopsis, Whorled Coreopsis, Leatherflower, Virgin's Bower, Rosebay Rhododendrun, Summersweet, Woodland Sunflower, Hawkweed, Pale Corydalis, Joe-Pye Weed, Alumroot, Starry Campion, Phlox, Bergamot, St. John's Wort, Heal All, Spiderwort, Rattlesnake Plaintain Orchid, Trefoil Tickseed, Carolina Lily, Flowering Spurge, Tall Bluet, Mountain Mint, Horse Balm, Fire Pink, Yellow Star Grass, Evening Primrose, False Foxglove and Yellow Wood Sorrel.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Broadwing Hawk, Towhee, Junco, Black Throated Green Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Black and White Warbler, Black Throated Blue Warbler
Headed up the mountain, we take the left loop.
At the top, the first viewpoint shows lots of fog / haze.
As we work our way across the ridge of the mountain, we enjoy the lookoffs.
The rock cliffs have nice cable barriers to provide safety for viewers.
The views are absolutely spectacular!
Our geologist described the rock as "Complexly contorted layers of biotite
gneiss and schist"..........and I took it for granite!
On a short side trail, we find this awesome view!
Now, we are on the Chinquapin Mountain Trail. There are 5 marked lookoffs.
Awesome mountain views from Chinquapin Mountain.
We found a Monarch Butterfly enjoying the Mountain Mint.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (front l-r) David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Bruce O'Connor. (back l-r) Phil Brownrigg, Bob Thompson, Wayne Miller, Dan Ross, Donna Presley, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Doug Russell, Jack Jacobi and Tony Presley.