Monday, January 31, 2011

Spring Hike--In the Middle of Winter!

I had a fantastic hike yesterday in Pisgah Forest.  It was sunny and 65 degrees--a BIG change from last week's hike (read blog post here: Winter Hike in Dupont Forest ).  I hiked the Coontree Loop trail, a moderate 3.7 miles.  Although there is nothing spectacular about the trail, it is one of my favorite shorter trails.  The trail head begins across the road from the Coontree picnic area, about 5 miles after you enter the forest.  It starts out in a hemlock cove, winds up and around hardwood coves and along creeks, then follows a ridgeline before descending along another creek. I hike the trail clockwise.  The uphill portion is steeper, but a shorter distance.  Here are a few photos.
Small (4') Waterfall on Coontree Loop

Rocks in a Stream on the Trail

Patterns and Textures in the Water

View From the Ridgeline Portion of the Coontree Loop Trail

Stream at the Junction of the Loop
A Surprise of Color Along the Trail (Partridge Berry)