Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald, NC

October 31, 2006

This week's hike was on the Appalachian Trail from Winding Stair Gap west of Franklin, NC to Siler Bald and back.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Bill Hess, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Dave Standard, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - This section of the Appalachian Trail is very nice, even though it involves quite a bit of elevation change. We started at Winding Stair Gap 3820 ft and hiked up to Siler Bald 5,216 ft. The final climb to the summit of Siler is a side trail of .2 miles up the grassy slope of the bald. The views from the top are an amazing 360 degrees of awesome mountains. We rate the hike only moderate in difficulty but extreme in beauty.

Total hiking distance - 8 miles round trip.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, take Highway 64 West for about 10 miles and look for the parking lot on the left. (It is just beyond the large rock cliffs on each side of the road) You will see the Appalachian Trail sign.

Another great day for a hike! Partly Cloudy and cool, temperatures from the mid 50's to the mid 60's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Mountain Gentian, Stiff Gentian, and Blue Asters.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Towhee, Pileated Woodpecker.

Click for movie clip 1 from today's hike!

Click for movie clip 2 from today's hike!

scroll down for pictures.......



pic1
We started at Winding Stair Gap.
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We start the gradual climb up to Siler Bald.
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Throughout the hike, we had views such as this!
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We are at the very end of wildflower season. After several nights below freezing,
we find only a few left-over flowers. Asters (left) and Stiff Gentian.
pic5
We start the final climb up the grassy slope to Siler Bald.
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About half-way up the slope, we get this nice view down to Lake Nantahala.
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Another view of Nantahala.
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We approach the summit and the old, weathered apple tree.
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View one from the summit of Siler Bald.
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View two!
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View three
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The marker at the summit.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Donna Presley, Carole Wintle, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker, Bill Hess, Dave Standard, and Dick Metzgar. Back (l-r) Jeanne O'Connor, Jack Jacobi, Bob Thompson, Phil Brownrigg, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Wayne Miller, Dan Ross, and Tony Presley.


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