Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Big Yellow Mountain Hike

Posted October 6, 2008 1:18 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2008 6:23 p.m. EDT

Minneapolis is a great place for mountain hiking. Minneapolis, NC, that is. It’s way up there in Avery County between the communities of Plumtree and Cranberry.

I was in Minneapolis Saturday for a hike on Big Yellow Mountain. Fall colors are peaking now in the higher elevations. Arthur Griffith led a small group of hikers up to the bald on Big Yellow Mountain where you can see Table Rock, Hawksbill Mountain, Grandfather Mountain and Roan Mountain in a spectacular panoramic sweep.  The Nature Conservancy and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy are working together to protect this beautiful mountain setting.


Special thanks to David Sweeney for helping me put together a slideshow of the five hour hike. I am already excited about returning to the area next spring for Arthur’s wildflower hike in the same general area.

The autumn trek took us across the Appalachian Trail and the Overmountain Victory Trail that some of my ancestors used on the way to Quaker Meadows in Morganton and eventually Kings Mountain for a crucial battle against the British in 1780.

We ended our hike in Hampton Creek Cove in Tennessee near Roan Mountain State Park. The hikers included a dentist, a lawyer, an author and historian as well as a conservationist. The scenery was not only beautiful but the conversation was rich and stimulating.

You still have time to enjoy what my father called “the pageant of color” in the North Carolina mountains. However, the brilliant hues are already working their way down the mountainsides. And judging from the color of the wooly worms near the Appalachian Trail this could be an early and very snowy winter!