Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Climbing Scaly Mountain: A Picture Tour

Scaly Mountain is a 4,804-foot peak in North Carolina not far from the Georgia border. It's also known as Big Scaly, as there is a peak called "Little Scaly" (it being somewhat shorter). We began the hike in the Blue Valley Backcountry and linked up with the Bartram Trail via a connector and took another connector on the way back to make about a seven-mile hike. It was quite a nice climb, moving through some surprisingly beautiful stands of white pine. However, being in the Highlands area, there is overdevelopment, suburban sprawl into the forests, and houses have crept right up to the Bartram Trail, spoiling what should be a wilderness experience and keeping the hiker from finding solitude.

We took the West Fork Trail to Bartram going up, and Hurrah Ridge Trail coming down.

I was surprised at how well engineered the Bartram Trail was.

Saucony leads the way along a rocky overhang.

Our first good view of Scaly Mountain as we cross NC 109.

I love looking at old rock slides, imagining the power.

The Bartram Trail advancing up the peak.

Saucony pauses to get a drink at a stream crossing.

One of many little streams that cross the trail.

Our first view of Rabun Bald, in northern Georgia (2nd highest in GA).

Classic southern Appalachian ridge hiking.

We had to pass these horrid vacation homes along the Bartram Trail. I hope they burn down.

Andy Kunkle, Jack Thyen, and Saucony at the first set of cliffs.

Just below the 4,804-foot summit of Scaly Mountain.

On the way back down, we pass several more streams and small waterfalls.

Jack at a double stream crossing.

Just at the end of the trail, we passed through a magnificent white pine grove.

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