Monday, October 01, 2012

Hiking Along the Blue Ridge

Candler, North Carolina (high 68, low 58-rain)

Our time here in this beautiful state is winding down.  Rain is predicted the next few days, so we spent the past few days getting in some last hikes and sightseeing.

We went back to the Wildlife Center at Pisgah Forest and did part of a 4 mile loop trail that was very nice.    We didn’t get there until late in the day,  and we weren’t prepared for mountain hiking, so we had to cut it short. 

We did see this cute little guy at the visitor center.



The trail meandered along a stream that was a popular place for fly fishing.  It was popular there because it located near the trout fishery, and this is where many young trout are released.  It’s a catch and release program, but we didn’t see much catching.

fly fishing

Evidently you can camp anywhere you like.  This almost made me want to buy a tent.  (almost)

tent camping Cat gap lou trail in wildlife center in pisgah near trout hatchery

Cat gap lou trail in wildlife center in pisgah near trout hatchery

Cat gap lou trail in wildlife center in pisgah near trout hatchery

We want to go back the next time we were here. 

We have had to start slowly on these trails.  We are not used to the elevation or difficulty of hiking in the mountains.  We had to  work ourselves up to longer and more strenuous  hikes.  We also have realized we need to be better prepared.  You think you’re on a short little easy trail and before you know it, you’re rock climbing.  We finally remembered to bring our walking sticks yesterday and they really helped us cross the many streams, and get up some of the rockier areas.

One thing we noticed posted by the trail was very scary.  Evidently people are taking their dogs on these trails off leash and there have been some fatalities. I can see there would be a lot of places that a dog could fall and be killed.  At another place we hiked we saw a notice of a lost dog.  I would sure hate to lose my dog in these mountains.   Most of the dogs we see are on a leash, but many are not.

dog fatality


Yesterday, we decided to go back to Graveyard Fields, which is at mile marker 418 on the Blue Ridge.  It’s a very nice area and very popular on the weekends.  We normally wouldn’t have gone on a week-end, but due to the rain coming, we bit the bullet and went on Sunday.

There was a nice waterfall trail we wanted to hike.  We came prepared with water and our hiking poles.  They really helped.

The trail started out very easy.  It was pretty  and not much elevation change.

Al hiking on trail at Graveyard Fields

There were lots of streams.  Some larger than others.

stream along trail at graveyard fields

trail at graveyard fields

Some places were really showing their fall colors.

fall foliage along Graveyard fields trail

trail at graveyard fields

We walked for a long time.  There were a lot of other hikers out there, but less and less the further we went. We were starting to wonder if we would ever find that darn waterfall.  The closer we got to the waterfall the steeper and rockier the climb became. 

Finally….the waterfall.

waterfall at Graveyard Fields Trail

There was more of the waterfall, but I couldn’t get a decent pictures due to all the people sprawled all over the rocks.  Darn people….don’t they know, they’re ruining my photos?

We ended up hiking about 3 miles in about 2 1/2 hours.  It was pretty strenuous and we were really glad to get back to the truck.  This is certainly not like Florida hiking!

We picked up some fog on the way back.

foggy rolled in

Our next stop was a Mexican restaurant/bar so that Al could catch the end of the Buc’s football game.  (they lost)

Today, we’re watching it rain and planning to pick up a few groceries for our trip back to Florida.  Sad smile


fall colors

We will miss these beautiful mountains, but hopefully, we will be able to return next spring for the rhododendron bloom


  1. You two sure have a wonderful time in that area. I see the beauty that surrounds you in the photos.

  2. That is a great place to hike. Somehow sleeping in a tent no longer appeals to me:)

  3. So glad you were there for the fall colors so evident in these beautiful pictures. You picked a perfect time to go and next spring will be equally wonderful. It was great being there with you. Thanks for all the posts.

  4. Keep it up...the more you hike, the more you get used to it. Before you know it, you'll be hiking like us!

    Most important...good quality, good fitting hiking boots with aggressive Vibram soles. Makes a world of difference.

  5. I wonder what a Vibram sole is. I'm really enjoying the fall colors in your photos!

  6. Your photos of the trees changing colours are just beautiful! Thanks for posting all of them. Great job.

  7. Your photos have me really excited. We leave friday for Pigeon Forge. I noticed in some of the pics you were still wearing shorts. Is it that warm????

    1. The weather has been perfect. Most days have been in the 70's....some days high 70's and some days lower. The nights have ranged from 43 to 60. Bring some shorts and also some warm clothes. Enjoy your visit!

  8. Wonderful photos of some beautiful spots. Love your new Header photo!! Thanks for the tour of this beautiful area.

  9. Graveyard Field? Is that where they put all the hikers that couldn't make it back up the trail?

    Sorry that soon you'll be returning to Florida, where the sun shines,the weather is warm, the ocean washes up on the white sandy beaches, and the trails are nice and level.

    Yes you're going back to a terrible place. ;c)

    1. LOL... we almost WERE those hikers!

      Yeah maybe I should quit whining about returning to Florida because as soon as it cools down I'll be glad I'm there.

  10. Beautiful fall colors- safe travels back to Tampa.

  11. Oh how pretty the fall photos are! I'm sure you have really enjoyed that area. The US is a wondrous place and we are so fortunate to visit such beautiful places. It's hit here with rainy afternoons. No need to hurry back.


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