October 15, 2013
Today's hike was on the Bartram Trail starting at Sawmill Gap and joining the Appalachian Trail after 2.2 miles and continuing on the Wayah Bald and back. Wayah Bald (elevation 5,385 ft.) has an old fire tower built by the C.C.C. in the 1930's - 8.2 miles total.
HIKERS - Wayne Barios, John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Stephen Gales, Dave Hinson, Bill Hunt, Dick Metzgar, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Huck Phillips, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Pom Sinnock and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - A beautiful hike any time of year! Starting out on the Bartram Trail at Sawmill Gap, the trail joins the Appalachian trail after 2.2 miles and continues on to Wayah Bald. The beautiful old fire tower is a special treat as you can climb up and see awesome views especially to the North, East and South. This hike is rated moderately difficult due to elevation changes. Total hiking distance - 8.2 miles.
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! Partly cloudy and cool. Temperatures ranged from 56 to 66 degrees F.
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Heal-all, Fall Phlox, White Snakeroot, Bushy Aster, White Heath Aster, Soapwort Gentian, Stiff Gentian, Dandelion, Red Clover, Goldenrods, Canada Violet, Tall Bluet, Ladino Clover, Yarrow, Peruvian Daisy, and Smartweed.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Wild Turkey, Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tree Swallow, American Crow
OTHER FAUNA: American Toad, Wooly-worm ( apatelodes torrefacta ), Gray Squirrel.
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Trailhead for today's hike.
Leaving Sawmill Gap headed for Wayah Bald.
Taking a short break!
Beautiful Fall colors have arrived!
A colorful walk in the woods!
This is where the Bartram merges with the Appalachian Trail.
Bartram Trail has yellow markers and Appalachian - white.
Another great day for a hike!
We arrive at the short trail up to the old fire tower.
The historic Wayah Bald Tower.
Great views from the tower!
Lunchtime in the tower.
Headed back to Sawmill Gap, we pass through one of the grassy openings.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r)Jim Driggers, Greta Driggers, Geri Whitaker, Wanda Miller, Wayne Barios, Wayne Miller, Pom Sinnock, Dave Hinson, Vic Robson, Bill Hunt, Stephen Gales, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Huck Phillips, Dick Metzgar and Tony Presley. .
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