Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Overview: Clingman's Dome to Folk Art Center (135m)

So for those interested in hiking the trail either in entirety or by section in the future, I thought it might be helpful to see the mileage I did, as well as where I camped, along with some short descriptions of each section, both terrain and plantwise.  (E) refers to edible, (M) for medicinal, and (E/M) means the plant is both edible and medicinal. I have been creating a plant list for each day, making note of what plants I identify and which ones are in abundance. However, these are so lengthy (1-2pages), that I think it may be a bit much for this blog. If anyone is interested in a particular section, I'd be happy to personally email that section's list to you. I apologize to any readers who are not so interested in all the specifics!

Day 1: Clingmans Dome-Poke Patch Campsite (8m)
Terrain- Evergreen forest with various lycopodium and mosses
Plants - Carolina and Eastern Hemlock(E/M), Red Spruce(M), Fraser Fir(M)), Hobble Bush, Creeping Bluets(E), Carolina Spring Beauty(E), Mayapple(E), Trout Lily(E)
Terrain - Grassy deciduous woods
Plants -(Black Cherry (E/M), Yellow Birch (M), Hobble Bush, Rhododendron, Maples, Oaks (E), Blackberry (E/M), Trillium (M), Toothwort (E), Phacelia, Meadow Rue, Indian Cucumber (E), Dutchman's Breeches, Galax (M), Cinquefoil (M), Squaw Root (E), Wild Blue Phlox, Canadian Violet (E/M), Wild Geranium (M), Sassafras (E/M)
Points of Interest: Deep Creek, wild boar, nice open campsite in a gap with bear cables

Day 2: Poke Patch Campsite - Newtown Bald Campsite (11m)
Terrain: Streamside
Plants: Dog Hobble, Rhododendrons, Mountain Laurel, Blueberry (E/M), Sweet Wake Robin Trillilum (M), White Clintonia (E), Lettuce Saxifrage (E), Indian Cuke (E), Foam Flower (M), Rattlesnake Weed (M)
Terrain: Deciduous woods
Plants: Maple, Oak (E), Tulip Tree, Black Locust (E), Pedicularis (M)
Terrain: Mixed Woods
Plants: White Pine (E/M), rhododendrons, blueberry (E), various Buttercups, various fleabanes
Points of Interest: Talkative friendly birds, Deep Creek, Pole Creek, and a challenging climb

Day 3: Newtown Bald - Barnett Knob (14m)
Terrain: Deciduous Woods
Plants: Maples, White Ash, Oaks (E), Sourwood (E), Pink Lady's Slipper (M), Smilax (E), Blueberry (E/M)
Terrain: Blue Ridge Parkway
Plants: Fire Pink, Common Plantain (E/M), Common Fleabane (M), English Plantain (E/M), Lyre-leaf Sage (M)
Terrain: Barnett Tower, grassy knob, gravel side road
Plants: Monarda (M), False Solomon's Seal (E), Solomon's Seal (E/M)
Points of Interest: high mountain trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Observation Tower with awesome views

Day 4: Barnett Knob - Fork Ridge Overlook (14m)
Terrain: Gravel Road
Plants: Indian Paintbrush (E), Pedicularis (M), Purple Dead Nettles (E), Cleavers (E/M), Chickweed (E/M)
Terrain: Incomplete, non-maintained, wooded trail off parkway
Plants: Marsh Blue Violet (E/M), Northern White Violet (E/M), Umbrella Plant, Lettuce Saxifrage (E)
Terrain: Blue Ridge Parkway
Plants: Red Spruce (M), Hemlock (E/M), Fraser Fir (M), Rhododendron
Points of Interest: lush but difficult off-road hike, Water Rock Knob, views off parkway

Day 5: Fork Ridge Overlook - Moonshine Creek Campground (6.5m)
Terrain: Woods trail and gravel road
Plants: Wild Hydrangea (M), Wood Nettle (E), Putty Root, Basswood (E/M)
Points of Interest: campground, easy walking

Day 6: Moonshine Creek Campground - Double Top Mountain Overlook (10m)
Terrain: Unlevel trail (sloping downhill), gradual climbs
Plants: Dutchman's Pipe, Black Cohosh (M), Wild Ginger (E)
Terrain: Craggy, rocky, mountain trail
Plants: Yellow Birch (M), Beech (M), Usnea (M), Toothwort (M)
Terrain: Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook
Plants: Monarda (M), Virginia Waterleaf (E), Common Blue Violet (E/M)
Points of Interest: Views, challenging rocky/overgrown trail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Day 7: Double Top Mtn Overlk- campsite near Bear Pen Gap (14m)
Terrain: Craggy mountain forest
Plants: Hawthorne (E/M), rue anemone, black cohosh (M/E)
Terrain: Dirt road, grassy carriage road
Plants: healthy carolina hemlocks(E/M), oaks (E), monarda (M), blue cohosh (M), blackberries (M)
Points of Interest: wide easy trail, fields, mountain climb, poorly marked intersections

Day 8: Bear Pen Gap campsite - Graveyard Fields campsite (15m)
Terrain: Evergreen forest with lycopodium, moss and lichen
Plants: Hemlock (E/M), Yellow Birch (M), Bluets (E)
Terrain: Grassy Bald
Plants: Blackberry (E/M), Blueberry (E/M)
Points of Interest: gorgeous views, tough climbs, quiet woods, Silvermine bald, rhodendron grove

Day 9: Graveyard Fields - campsite near Pisgah Inn (10m)
Terrain: Rhododendron thickets, waterfalls
Plants: Blueberry(E/M)
Terrain: Grassy wooded hills between Blue Ridge Parkway road crossings
Plants: Pedicularis(M), Painted Trillium(M), Solomon's Seal (E/M), Turk's Cap Lily, Indian Cuke(E), Basswood(E/M), Spicebush(E)
Points of Interest: waterfalls, Skinny Dip Falls, boulders, views of Looking Glass

Day 10: Pisgah Inn campsite - Chestnut Cove Overlook (15m)
Terrain: Deciduous woods between Blue Ridge Parkway road crossings
Plants: Black Locust (E), Spiderwort (E), Showy Skullcap, Milkweed, Bloodroot(M), Rattlesnake Weed (M), Yellow Stargrass (M), Water Willow, Wild Yam (M), Marsh Blue Violet(E/M), Canadian Violet (E/M), Common Blue Violet (E/M), False Indigo, Pedicularis (M)
Points of Interest: easy varied hiking, abundant wildlife: turkeys, snakes, birds, bear, bugs, lowest elevation thus far (2100ft)

Day 11: Chestnut Cove Overlk - Folk Art Center (18m)
Terrain: Deciduous woods with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron 
Plants: Stoneroot (M), False Goats Beard, Smilax (E/M), Showy Skullcap
Terrain: Grassy wide trail
Plants: Blackberry (E/M), Thimbleberry (E), Spicebush (E), Wild Onion (E)
Terrain: Pine forest
Plants: White Pine (E/M), Hemlock (E/M), Sourwood (E)
Terrain: Mixed Woods with Blue Ridge Parkway Crossings
Plants: Water Pepper (E), Red Clover (M), Yellow Wood Sorrel(E), Small Flowered Cranesbill, Corn Speedwell (E), Bowman's Root (M), Mitchella (M), Pipsissewa (M), Whorled Loosestrife, Fairy Wand, Ginseng (M), Garlic Mustard (E), Pink Lady's Slipper (M)
Points of Interest: Cool dark woods in Bent Creek, easy graded trail with lots of berries, lots of people, considerable traffic on brief road crossings

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Did you really see Carolina hemlock in the Smokies? They haven't ever had any if you really DID see a Carolina hemlock, the park botanist would really like to know!