Monday, June 20, 2011

Overview: Beacon Heights - Danbury (170m)

Overview: Beacon Heights - Danbury (170m)

Day 23: Beacon Heights – meadow just past Holloway Rd (13m)
Terrain: trail through high elevation mixed woods
Plants: Sochan (E), wood lily, false hellebore, sassafras (E/M), witch hazel (M), broadleaf waterleaf(E)
Terrain: Meadow
Plants: daisy (E), common cinquefoil(M), prunella (M), sheep sorrel(E)
Points of Interest: Linn Cove Viaduct, Steven Tying Mather gift shop with running water and restrooms, large boulders, lots of water, trail through cow pasture, excellent camping in meadow

Day 24: meadow just past Holloway Rd – BRP and Green Hill Rd (15m)
Terrain: meadow
Plants: Chalk Maple, Hawthorne(E/M), Apple (E)
Terrain: trail through moist mixed woods
Plants: Black Birch (M), Sourwood (E), Spiderwort(E), Pedicularis (M)
Terrain: gravel carriage roads
Plants: Sochan (E), apple (E), pumpkin ash, mitchella (M), stoneroot (M)
Points of Interest: campground with running water/restrooms, Moses Cone State Park, pretty and easy walking carriage roads, gift shop and Manor House, lots of people and folks on horseback, notice to visitors not to eat plants or handle soil due to high levels of arsenic/lead from past pesticide use, intersection for Boone/Blowing Rock

Day 25: BRP and Green Hill Rd – Jesse Brown's Cabin (18m)
Terrain: BRP
Plants: spiderwort (E), yellow wood sorrel (E), smartweed(E), english plantain(E), yarrow(E/M)
Terrain: trail criss-crossing BRP through mixed woods
Plants: black locust (E), white pine(M), hog peanut (E)
Points of Interest: overlooks, large portion roadwalk, new well maintained/marked trail, Jesse Brown's cabins, restrooms with running water

Day 26: Jesse Brown's Cabin – Pond on Don Bare Rd (17m)
Terrain: trail through mixed woods criss-crossing BRP
Plants: spiderwort (E), indian cuke(E), spicebush(E), daylily(E), jewelweed(M), mountain saxifrage, mountain mint(E/M)
Points of Interest: butterflies, cool plant niches on rock faces on BRP, West Jefferson with restaurant and gas station, Northwest Trading Post giftshop with some snacks and restrooms with running water

Day 27: Pond on Don Bare Rd – Doughton State Park Picnic Area (16m)
Terrain: trail through mixed woods criss-crossing BRP and country gravel roads
Plants: spiked lobelia, bluets(E), thimbleberry(E/M), white pine(M), eastern hemlock(E/M), mitchella(M), lifewort(M), table mountain pine (M), pitch pine(M)
Points of Interest: Laurel Springs biker town with 2 restaurants, mini mart, 2 motels, and bar; rolling farmland, Doughton State Park with beautiful rolling open meadows/views and a shelter with view

Day 28: Doughton State Park Picnic Area – Welcome Home Baptist Church (20m)
Terrain: meadow through Doughton
Plants: yarrow(E/M), red clover(M), mullein(M)
Terrain: trail through mixed woods and pure white pine stands criss-crossing BRP
Plants: white pine(M), eastern hemlock(E/M), galax(M), halberd violet(M), black locust (E)
Points of Interest:Due to closure of Doughton park some poorly maintained trail difficult to follow (when open there is lodge/restaurant), bear, construction along BRP, Stone Mountain, restrooms with running water and soda machines at Stone Mtn State Park, beginning of piedmont road walking

Day 29: Welcome Home Baptist Church – Surry Inn (17m)
Terrain: roadwalk through farmland/by homes
Plants: asiatic dayflower, black-eyed susan, wild carrot(E), kudzu(E/M), elderberry(E/M), mullein(M)
Points of Interest: country roads, rolling hills, farmland, rural living, lots of barking dogs, town of Mountain Park with large community park and soda machine; intersection with I-77 with 2 hotels, Dairy Queen, diner, gas stations

Day 30: Surry Inn – Blackwater United Methodist Church (13m)
Terrain: roadwalk through farmland/by homes
Plants: goosefoot(E), daylily(E), daisy(E), english plantain(E), wild carrot(E)
Points of Interest: Dobson with lots of stores/restaurants and library, country roads(however with more traffic), rolling hills, farmland, view of Pilot Mtn in distance

Day 31: Blackwater United Methodist Church - 3m down Sauratown Trail (20m)
Terrain: roadwalk through farmland
Plants: wild carrot (E), bull thistle, greater coreopsis, blackberry (E), chicory(E)
Terrain: muddy trail through mixed woods
Plants: bloodroot (M), black birch (M), wild ginger (E)
Points of Interest: very friendly town with lots of stores/restaurants, heavy traffic walking into town, trail very damaged due to heavy horse traffic- lots of deep mud, rutted, manure, take consideration in gathering water from streams due to horses on trail and possible farm run-off (water was heavy with dirt), white MST blazes return

Day 32: 3m down Sauratown Trail - 1m past Tory's Den (13m)
Terrain: mixed woods trail
Plants: wild ginger (E), yellow root (M), agrimony (M), witch hazel (M)
Terrain: Dusty gravel road
Plants: showy tick trefoil, wild potato vine(E), mountain mint (E/M)
Points of Interest: creeks clear up a few miles in as does horse damage, significant trail reroute that is well marked with white blazes however does not correspond to Scot Ward's guide, trail center just off Rock House Rd with glassed in map and shelter (currently closed to cars)

Day 33: 1m past Tory's Den - Danbury (11m)
Terrain: trail through mixed woods
Plants: blueberry (E/M), carolina hemlock (M), sassafras (E/M), wild ginger (E)
Points of Interest: pretty trail that is well marked, observation tower with awesome views as well as large boulders to get views from, Hanging Rock State Park visitor center with educational displays, lake with concession stand, bathrooms and running water, town of Danbury has nice library with wifi (where I'm writing from right now!)

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