Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Overview: Folk Art Center - Beacon Heights (118m)

Here's another overview for y'all. I'd like to remind folks that these are just a smattering of the plants that stuck out to me or that seemed abundant in the area. Also the (E), (M), or (E/M) refers only to the plant which it directly follows, not all of the plants in the listing. This also does not mean that the whole plant is edible (often just a particular part) and the same goes for medicinal usage.

Day 12: Folk Art Ctr - Ox Creek Rd (6m)
Terrain: Deciduous woods
Plants: Solomon's seal (E/M), Wild Geranium (M), Wood Nettle (E), Spicebush (E), Monarda (M), Wild Hydrangea (M), Sweet Cicley (E), Large Leaf Waterleaf (E), Broad Leaf Waterleaf (E), Stoneroot (M)
Points of Interest: well maintained trail, large rock slabs with unique niche plants adapted to sun and little soil, lots of nice gradual ups and downs and some views into the valley

Day 13: Ox Creek Rd - Douglas Falls Trail (10m)
Terrain: Deciduous woods
Plants: Hawthorne (E/M), Blue Cohosh (M), Stonecrop (E), Virginia Waterleaf (E)
Terrain: High elevation deciduous woods
Plants: Large Leaf Waterleaf (E), Pin Cherry (E), Yellow Birch (M)
Terrain: Craggy high elevation woods
Plants: Sheep Sorrel (E), Broad Leaf Waterleaf (E), Red Flowering Raspberry (E/M), Rowan Tree (E)
Points of Interest: Rattlesnake Lodge, lots of wild edibles, views of North Fork Reservoir, Craggy Gardens Picnic Area, side trail to Douglas Falls, access to Snowball Trail, Hawthorne trees with large spikes on trunks (considered a ancient trait long ago adapted for protection from large mammals that lived in the area) 

Day 14: Douglas Falls trail - Old Railroad bed 5m prior to Mt.Mitchell (11m)
Terrain: Deciduous high elevation woods criss-crossing BRP
Plants: Hobblebush, Canada Mayflower, Canadian Violet(E/M), Wood Nettle (E), Wild Yam(E), Dandelion (E/M), Yarrow (E/M)
Terrain: Ridgetop with rhodos
Plants: Wild Strawberry (E/M), Bluets (E), Red Spruce (M), Fraser Fir (M), Smooth Blackberry (E/M)
Terrain: High elevation evergreen woods
Plants: Red Spruce (M), Eastern Hemlock (E/M), Yellow Clintonia (E), Usnea (M), Northern White Violet(E/M), Michaux's Saxifrage
Terrain: Descending mtn over rocky trail onto grassy level old railroad bed
Plants: various Blackberries (E/M), Yellow Birch (M), Sochan (E), Rowan Tree (E)
Points of Interest: Beautiful trail, steep climbs, ridgetop meadow, excellent views, quiet evergreen woods, Blackstack Knob, Promontory Rock, nice somewhat hidden and spacious campsite

Day 15: Old railroad bed 5m prior to Mt.Mitchell - Neil's Creek Rd (11m)
Terrain: Mixed Woods
Plants: Eastern Hemlock (E/M), Hawthorne (E/M), Yellow Birch (M), Sochan (E), Rough Cinquefoil (M)
Terrain: Evergreen Woods
Plants: Fraser Fir (M), Red Spruce (M), Eastern Hemlock (E/M), Northern White Violet (E/M), Bluets(E)
Terrain: Evergreen woods into mixed woods
Plants: Witch Hazel (M), Round leaf Violet (M), Fraser Magnolia, Galax (M)
Terrain: Deciduous Woods
Plants: Halberd Violet (M), Mountain St.John's Wort, Umbrella Magnolia, Smooth Cinquefoil (M)
Points of Interest: Mt. Mitchell with very informative museum, concession stand, and gift shop; Black Mtn Campground Office that carries ice cream

Day 16: Neil's Creek Rd - 4m after Buck Creek Gap (9m)
Terrain: Deciduous low elevation to high elevation woods
Plants: Wood Nettle (E), Black Cohosh (M), Blueberry (E/M), Turkey Beard, Mitchella (M),     Sourwood (E)
Points of Interest: low elevation thick vegetation woods, town of Busick with Effler's Grocery, beautiful ridgetop trail with views and flowering mtn laurel

Day 17: 4m after Buck Creek Gap - 2m after Woodlawn Park Picnic area (12m)
Terrain: High elevation rocky woods
Plants: Mtn Laurel, Blueberry (E/M), Smilax (E), Sassafras (E/M)
Terrain: High elevation dry sandy soil
Plants: Pencil flower, Flame Azalea, Serviceberry (E), Rattlesnake Weed (M), Black Locust (E)
Terrain: Clay soil into moist deciduous woods and meadow
Plants: Black Birch (M), Daisy fleabane, Lyre-leaf Sage, Sochan (E), Red Clover (M), White Clover
Terrain: Dry meadow
Plants: Low Hop Clover, Venus's Looking Glass, Tansy Ragwort, Greater Coreopsis, Deptford Pink
Points of Interest: steep climb, wide sandy trail, dry climate loving plants, sparse blazing, Woodlawn Park and Picnic Area with bathrooms with running water and electrical outlets

Day 18: Woodlawn Park Picnic area - Kestler Memorial Hwy (13m)
Terrain: Meadow and sandy woods
Plants: Smilax (E), Common Plantain (E/M), Yarrow (E/M)
Terrain: Woods bordering railroad tracks
Plants: Butterfly weed, Hairy Skullcap (M), Flowering Spurge
Terrain: Rocky dry mtn
Plants: Galax (M), Blueberry (E/M), Serviceberry (E), Sassafras (E/M)
Terrain: Deciduous Moist Woods
Plants: Primrose Violet (E/M), Crown Vetch, Yarrow (E/M)
Points of Interest: whippor-wills, meadow with logs of insect song, many switchbacks up dry mtn with gorgeous views, dry springs/streams when with little rainfall, poorly marked trail, phenomenal view of Lake James from campsite on road however also a littered site

Day 19: Kestler Memorial Hwy - 2m after Table Rock Picnic Area (13m)
Terrain: Rocky dry mixed woods
Plants: Sassafras (E/M), Blueberry (E/M), Sweetgum, Yellow Stargrass, Narrow Leaf White Topped Aster
Terrain: Fire ravaged high elevation woods
Plants: Bristly locust, Blueberry (E/M), Sand Myrtle, various Blackberry (E/M)
Terrain: Moister Woods
Plants: White Pine (M), Mtn Laurel, Rhodo, Fire Pink, Smooth Cinquefoil (M)
Points of Interest: great beach and swimming area at Linville River, deep and wide Linville River ford, steep and challenging climb with awesome views of Linville Gorge, Table Rock, and Shortoff Mtn, burned out woods with little water (however piped spring still running at top of climb), hard to follow trail due to fire damage and lack of proper blazing, lots of blowdowns, the Chimneys, Table Rock summit side trail, cool climbing areas, Peregrine falcons

Day 20: 2m after Table Rock Picnic Area - Raider Camp Trail Intersection (14m)
Terrain: Deciduous moist low elevation woods
Plants: Spotted Wintergreen, Wood Nettle (E), Eastern Hemlock (E/M), Wild Hydrangea (M), Hercules' Club, White Pine (M)
Points of Interest: great swimming holes at Buck Creek and Upper Creek, creek fords - none too deep, poor marking of trail towards end of section with lots of side ATV trails

Day 21: Raider Camp Trail Intersection - Hunt Fish Falls and Pools (11m)
Terrain: Creekside and Wooded Trail
Plants: Wild Ginger (E), Mitchella (M), Black Birch (M), Basswood (E/M)
Terrain: Beach
Plants: Fire Pink, Sochan (E), various Blackberry (E/M), Yellow Root (M)
Terrain: Gravel Road
Plants: Daisy (E), Turkey Beard, Fairy Wand, Black Locust (E)
Points of Interest: Harper Creek, 11 fords- most not too deep/difficult, waterfalls, swimming holes, popular swimming area at Hunt Fish Falls (lots of people)

Day 22: Hunt Fish Falls and Pools - Beacon Heights (7m)
Terrain: old forest service road through deciduous woods
Plants: Wild Hydrangea (M), Black Birch(M), Witch Hazel (M)
Terrain: High elevation mixed woods
Plants: Round leaved Violet (M), Indian Cuke (E), White Pine (M), Spiderwort (E), Smilax (E)
Points of Interest: uphill the whole way, but very graded on forest service road, becoming steep last couple of miles, beautiful trail walk in last couple of miles, plenty of water whole way

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