Archive for August, 2012

Bard Falls – 8-1-2012

After going to Harper Falls last week, my friend Dave and I only had one more falls to see to complete all of those within the Harper Creek Valley and that was Bard Falls. This was finalized on Aug. 1, 2012. Starting at the trail head located on FR #464 where the Mountains To See Trail joins the road from Harper Creek (signage displays ‘N. Harper Shortcut’ #266 A but some maps will show this as #440) we went downhill on the MTS/ 266A Trail for about one mile to reach the Valley floor below. This was a red blazed trail along with the white circle blazes of the MTS Trail. The first thing we encountered before even out of sight of the vehicle was a yellow jacket nest in the ground that had been dug out by a bear or raccoon. It was still active so we wasted no time there. This is a very well maintained trail, gradual in its descent, passing by a few water sources as it makes its way down to the Harper Creek. Just before reaching the bottom there was some really nice ferns growing that were a pleasure to hike through. The trail leads down to Trail #266 which is the main trail beside Harper Creek. Taking a left there we followed that trail downstream towards the falls. This will be a blue-blazed trail with white dots. One of the blue-blazes we found on the return trip was very different !

Bard Falls

Bard Falls


Posted on 29 August '12 by , under RATtreks. 2 Comments.

Harper Falls – 7-24-2012

After taking a break from the Harper Creek Valley for the past two weeks, which we spent hiking in the Little Lost Cove Creek (falls) and Big Lost Cove Cliffs area instead, we planned a trip to Bard and Harper Falls on July 24, 2012. The original plan was to take two vehicles and leave one at the bottom in the Wilson Creek area and then take the other back to the top and walk downhill one way to see both falls, however, that plan did not come to fruition. Instead, we decided to just take one car and go to Harper Falls from the bottom and return back the same way. It is only 1.5 miles or so to the falls so this was easily doable and would allow for plenty of time to enjoy the falls and get out before the afternoon thunderstorms that our meteorologist Rob Williams predicted to arrive to the area around 2pm. Leaving Hairnt Quarters around the usual time of 8:30 am it took longer than the usual hour and a half to get there since we took a different and more scenic route to get to the Wilson Creek area. Instead of going to FR # 464, we chose to go up the Blue Ridge Parkway instead and take a gravel forest road that I think is # 1514 that eventually end up in Wilson Creek at the Edgemont community where the road becomes SR # 90. That is of course the same road and same place where FR # 464 comes out. From there we had to continue to Mortimer where we turned right on SR # 1328 for about a mile or so to the trail head where there is parking located on the right for trail # 260 which leads into the Harper Creek Valley.

Harper Falls

Upper part of Harper Falls as seen through the trees from the trail above


Posted on 17 August '12 by , under RATtreks. 2 Comments.

Big Lost Cove Cliffs – 7-16-2012

Ever since our trip to the Little Lost Cove Cliffs on 6-13-2012, I have been wanting to see the Big Lost Cove Cliffs. This is because as awesome as the little ones are the big ones must be much better right ? On 7-16-2012 I would get my answer. My friend Dave and I arrived at the trail head at our usual time of 10:30am after the hour and half drive over the mountain to North Carolina. It was a partly sunny and hot day with chances of thunderstorms so it was looking like we would have some clouds that would help make the pictures turn out better although we did not want to get caught in any storms while out on the exposed rocks.

Big Lost Cove Cliffs

Dave on the Big Lost Cove Cliffs


Posted on 8 August '12 by , under RATtreks. 4 Comments.