Sawmill Gap - Wayah Bald, NC - Bartram Trail

September 12, 2006

This week's hike was in North Carolina, west of Franklin, on the Bartram Trail from Sawmill Gap to Wayah Bald and back. The Bartram Trail joins the Appalachian Trail for the second half of the hike up to Wayah Bald.

HIKERS - Dan Bennett, Greg Bennett, Matthew Bennett, Steve Bennett, Phil Brownrigg, Jack Jacobi, John King, Wayne Miller, Dan Ross, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Bob Thompson .

TRAIL INFO. - The Bartram Trail from Sawmill Gap to Wayah Bald is a very nice hike through a very lush environment with lots of wildflowers all along the trail. The view from Wayah Bald (5,342 ft.) is magnificent in every direction on clear days.

Total hiking distance - 8 miles R.T.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, travel west on US 64 for 3 miles to Old Murphy Road where there is a Wayah Bald sign. Turn right and drive 0.2 mile to Wayah Road (SR 1310). Turn left and continue for about 9 miles to Wayah Crest and continue for couple of miles and turn right onto F.S. Road 711 (Sawmill Gap Road) and continue a few miles to the Sawmill Gap sign and parking lot..

Another great day for a hike! Cloudy with fog, very cool temperatures ranging from the low 50's to the low 60's..

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: White Snakeroot, White Wood Aster, Starry Campion, Black-eyed Susan, Monk's Hood, Mountain Gentian, Yellow Coneflower, Woodland Sunflower, Ragged Soldier, Silver Rod, Golden Rods, Black Cohosh, Shrub Aster, Perfoliated Aster, Heart-leafed Aster, Pale Jewelweed, Spotted Jewelweed, Horse Balm, Mountain Mint, Heal- All, Canada Violet, Indian Plaintain, Phlox and Lady's Thumb.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Crow, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Junco, Towhee.


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Trail-head for today's hike.
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The view from Sawmill Gap.
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Early into the hike, you can see the lush environment.
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We spotted this dragon sticking his head out of a tree-trunk.
Complete with mouth, eyes, horns ........very scary!
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The trail is richly lined with White Snakeroot. (Eupatorium rugosum)
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The trail passes through three grassy meadows.
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This is the trail sign at the intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
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Trail marks (white-Appalachian, yellow-Bartram).
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Arriving at the Wayah Bald tower, we find heavy fog!
We had lunch here and the temp. was a cool 53!!!
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The view from here is beautiful 360 degrees! You had to use your
imagination through the fog but there are mountains everywhere!
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Leaving the Wayah tower and headed back to Sawmill Gap.
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Monk's Hood (Aconitum uncinatum)!
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The OFHC gang for today's hike: (kneeling l-r) Matthew Bennett, Dan Bennett , Steve Bennett with "Penny", and John King. (standing l-r)Tony Presley, Greg Bennett, Wayne Miller, Jack Jacobi, Bob Thompson, Donna Presley, Phil Brownrigg, and Dan Ross.


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