Bartram Trail Section Hike – Halle Ridge Road To Hickory Knut Gap

July 15th, 2015

On Wednesday, Wayne, Tally, Pam, and I headed out to continue our section hike of the Bartram Trail. Having finished the Georgia segment (Actually, I still need to do an 8.6 mile section in Georgia), it was time to begin the North Carolina portion of the trail.

This is the point of beginning of our hike.  We were headed toward Hickory Gap, which according to the sign, was 6.2 miles away.

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These are a couple of pictures of the tread as we worked our way up, down, and around this section of the Bartram. In several spots, the trail was carpeted with fallen Rhododendron blooms.

We crossed probably six or seven wooden bridges.  The bridge in the first picture is unique since it uses tree limbs instead of cut lumber for balusters.

The trail went directly through some boulders and then later over a small waterfall.

This is a view of the forest floor and of the forest canopy.

Here we passed a very rare wooden Llama.  Later, at a campsite, we came across what we believed to be some of his scat (We could be wrong though, this may have actually been deposited by a coyote).

The Bartram Trail climbs to the left.  The tread on the right is the West Fork Trail.

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As we approached hwy 106, we passed these huge, bright orange mushrooms growing at the base of a tree.

After hiking 3.6 miles, we arrived at Osage Mountain Overlook.  Since it was already after 1:00 pm, we decided to sit in the shade and eat our lunches.  While the cool breeze blowing through the gap felt good on a summer’s day, It occurred to me that it must be pretty cold here in the winter.

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After lunch, we crossed hwy 106 and began to climb steadily.  We passed this tree covered with hundreds of lichens as we made our way toward the junction for the spur that would lead us to Hickory Knut Road and to our vehicle. The trail gained a little over 800 feet during this 1.4 mile stretch.

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I spotted this little snail hiding under a rhododendron bloom.  I think he’s a cousin (twice removed) of Get-Along the turtle.

By the time that we reached our waiting truck, we had hiked 6.3 miles and climbed a total of 1663 feet. Though the weather in the region was in the mid 90’s, it was actually pleasant where we were and except for some humidity, it was a good day for a hike in the woods.

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