Stratton Bald Trail via Wolf Laurel Trail

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

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Monday, June 21, 2010

Our highlights of the day!

Today we were looking to get up at a high altitude in the hope of finding azaleas as well as rhododendron in bloom.  We hiked on the Wolf Laurel Trail (trailhead is at 4,590 feet) which is a short trail leading into a 1.2 mile segment of the Stratton Bald Trail, resulting in the easiest route to the ridgecrest (5,280 feet).  Just getting to the trailhead was an experience of driving gravel roads through the wilderness.  We really felt like we were leaving civilization behind! 

The hike itself is well marked with orange markers by someone who had done trail maintenance. By the amount of vegetation this is not a heavily used trail.  The white rhododendrons peeked out as we passed.  At the top we were rewarded with great views and stands of blazing azaleas.  Details of this route can be found in Tim Homan's book. 

The only person we saw on this trail was a guy who was camping at the top with his dog.  He had been there several days and hadn’t seen anyone.  We were both surprised to see one another.  It was he who passed on the surprise of the day – under our feet were wild strawberries growing!  At first we couldn’t find them and then they were everywhere!  We stuffed ourselves with strawberries!

What a glorious day!

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