Cherohala Skyway and South Fork Citico Trail

Trip Start Jun 09, 2010
Trip End Jul 22, 2010

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Friday, June 11, 2010

Our highlights for the day!

Cherohala Skyway
. With only a few cars and motorcycles on the road, we felt we were mostly alone with the mountains and the views! Over several days,  we made numerous stops at the lookouts and we explored different hiking paths accessible off the Skyway.

Today, we checked out Hooper Bald, a stop along the Skyway, to see if there were any azalea or rhododendron in bloom.  The trail to Hooper Bald is an easy quarter mile hike to the bald.  At 5,290 feet, in early June we were a bit too early.  Lots of buds but only a few blooms.  We'll be back! 

We continued on the Skyway to find the trailhead for a section of the South Fork Citico Trail.  This trail is characterized by boulders, low cascades and pools.  Today, the rhododendron were peeking out.  We just set the amount of time we wanted to walk enjoying the forest and stream and then turned around back to the car.   This is accessed from the FS345-FS35 junction, turning onto FS 35 and proceed on this dirt-gravel road for approximately 2.3 miles to the boulder-blocked entrance of a single-track dirt road leading uphill to the right.   Just at the point that we thought we had missed the trailhead, it popped up!  Of course what might have been the cue was other hikers who had parked their van and were getting all their backpacks and gear ready for a multi-day hike.  Details of the trail and its access can be found in Tim Homan's book Hiking Trails of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickroch and Citico Creek Wildernesses.
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