Sat, Mar 18 2017 - Whiteside Mountain, Devils Courthouse and Scaly Mountain (View Original Event Details)|
We had a fantastic day exploring some beautiful trails near Highlands, North Carolina. First stop was Whiteside Mountain. It poured down rain on the way to the carpool but stopped before we arrived at the trailhead. The storms left behind some stunning clouds and slippery trails which we navigated without a problem. We found a nice sunny spot at the top of Whiteside to have a little snack break.
Descending to the parking lot, we drove a short distance back the way we came to hit the Bartram Trail over Big Scaly Mountain. It was as if we passed through a variety of ecosystems on Scaly: muddy rain forest, sun-soaked granite, enchanted rhododendron forest, wind-swept mountaintop. We reached the top of Big Scaly but didn't hang out long as the wind whipped right through us.
Descending down the north side of Scaly, treetops swayed back and forth in the gusty wind. As we lost elevation, we were mostly sheltered as we stepped through the leaves and rocks. We hit our turnaround point at Tessentee Creek campground and started the long climb back up. Then it was down again on the warm leeward side of Scaly. Most of us replenished our empty bellies at the Mexican restaurant in Clayton. A phenomenal group of hikers and a super fun day!