Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Wilderness Hike

Posted April 2, 2010

Have you taken a hike or nice walk lately? If so, where did you go and what did you find? Please discuss and if you'd like, share directions.

Cindy, Rufus and I recently plunged into the wilderness nine miles south of Asheboro. And when I say "plunged" I mean that literally for Rufus, our six month old pup, who loves to dive into mud puddles. We wore Rufus out on a six mile hike in the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness located just off NC 49. I have attached some photographs from our hike on Wednesday of this week. The weather was perfect - sunny and warm with highs in the 70's.

Birkhead isn't Linville Gorge but it does provide the Piedmont's only federally-desinated wilderness area covering more than 5,000 acres. The Birkheads are part of the ancient Uwharrie range. The land is maintained by the Forest Service and includes old homesteads, gold mines and farms. We plan to return in the fall because of the impressive array of hardwood trees here.

Spring colors were just beginning to come alive in the forest. It was nice to walk without seeing a single soul all day. Plus, there weren't many cobwebs either.

How about you? Have you been hiking lately?


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  • blueskyenc Apr 3, 2010

    To keep ticks off, a surveyor I knew would tuck his jeans into his boots, and then would wrap duct tape around the top of his boots to seal the opening. Now it gets hot in the summer, and it's not a fool-proof solution, but if you're going through highly infested areas, it does help.

    Yup, there's always a good use for duct tape.

  • bleslie Apr 3, 2010

    As for ticks it's best to avoid brush areas and high grass, Bug spray with Deet helps

  • mamananagramps Apr 2, 2010

    Bill, I love the post about the Hike, but how do you and wife keep ticks away..They are terrible this year. I wish someone would give some advice about ticks. My hubby took 6 months to get over a tick disease last summer and has already pulled several deer ticks off.

  • Riverracer8 Apr 2, 2010

    I love the Tanawha trail, but have never tried the Green Knob trail. We are headed that way this weekend - might just have to check it out!

  • thinknc Apr 2, 2010

    Last weekend we went to Boone to visit our son, and hiked part of the Tanawha Trail (from the Rough Ridge Overlook area). We had been there last fall, so it was interesting to see the trail in another season. The views were incredible, but all along the parkway there were many trees broken by the ice storm, their tops just snapped off. Sad to see all the damage, but once the trees leaf out, I wonder if it will be noticeable much at all? We also hiked the Green Knob Trail that starts at Sims Pond. This trail is always fun because of all the variety--you cross a stream several times and parallel it for a good distance, walk through forest, and across open meadows. Few plants had leafed out or flowered, but I liked the idea that there was so much life there soon to burst forth--just right for Easter.

  • GoldenLover Apr 2, 2010

    For a short drive you can't beat the Falls Lake Trail System. It's part of the "Mountains to Sea Trail. It has just about every kind of scenery you could want and 90% of the time you have a beautiful view of the lake. Lots of wildlife too.

  • Skinner Apr 2, 2010

    Not a hiking trip but I did go on a canoe\camping trip this past weekend. Put in on Hwy97 at Fishing Creek which runs into the Tar River and took out in Tarboro, NC. Saw deer, turkeys, 1 snake, blue heron, wood ducks etc. Did some exploring at around the campsite. Lots of Cypress trees. Very peaceful! Except last year on same trip, we head the howls of coyotees. Not much sleep after that!

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Bill Leslie