Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 4 & 8, 2016 - Mountains to Sea Trail, Asheville

There's not been a lot happening lately, so Cindy and I have been back to DuPont and also have been hiking sections of the Mountains to Sea Trail between Asheville and Tanbark Tunnel. These sections have limited interest, so it's been a good time to knock these out for Cindy's upcoming hiking book on the mountains portion of the MST.

Two of the sections we hiked are worth mentioning, though. On the 4th, we did the section from the Folk Art Center north to what's called Lunch Rock. It's about a 5 mile round trip hike and Lunch Rock has the view in the following 3 photos. The snow covered mountains of the Parkway made a nice background. If you go looking for this, there's a side trail marked with only a faint red dot on a tree at about 2.5 miles into the hike. This short side trail comes out on a rock face, so keep a close eye on kids if you bring any.

views from Lunch Rock

Then on the 8th, we hiked the section of the MST from Ox Creek Rd off of the Parkway to Rattlesnake Lodge which I think is about a 5 mile round trip also. This is a very popular section of trail during the warmer months. We began the hike right where the MST crosses Ox Creek Rd, but there's more parking farther up the road if you want to shorten the hike.

This section of trail is quite nice with a nice mix of uphill and downhill sections. The lack of leaves on the trees allow for a few views you probably wouldn't have otherwise.

The Rattlesnake Lodge has an interesting history.  The lodge was built in the very early 1900's and served as the summer home for Dr Chase Ambler and his family. The Romantic Asheville web site has a great write up here if you would like to read more. The only thing left of the lodge today are a few stone walls as shown in the photos below.

an interpretive sign gives a little history and location of some of the buildings
the barn foundation
tool shed

swimming pool

The weather is warming and it will soon be time for the wildflowers to begin blooming. We'll be out a lot and the forests green back up, so stay tuned!

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