Tanawha Trail and Fall Color

Event Date: 
Sun, Oct 20 (All day)

This should be a great opportunity to view the colorfull fall foilage on the Bule Ridge Parkway. The Tanawha Trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Tanawha, the Cherokee word for fabulous hawk or eagle, is an appropriate name for this trail that offers hikers spectacular views of distant mountains. Completed in 1993, the Tanawha Trail, like the final section of the Parkway it mirrors, is unique in construction. The trail traverses a fragile and ancient ecosystem and leads hikers through a surprising range of biological and geological terrains.  Boulder fields and cascading streams punctuate the landscape.

We will start this hike at the Linn Cove Visitors Center doing a out and back hike of about 5 miles, rated moderate to strenious. From the access point below the Linn Cove Viaduct, the Tanawha Trail passes underneath the Viaduct and ascends steeply up stone steps past an enormous boulder wall. The trail levels off and enters a shady glen thick with birch and beech trees. Beyond the cascading water of Wilson Creek, the trail crosses a clearing filled with huge rock formations. The trail here, accented with flat rocks, is like a flagstone path.
The trail then climbs sharply to Rough Ridge and over a 200-foot long boardwalk. Here the spectacular view into the Piedmont is unobstructed because of the unusual low-growing and fragile mountain-heather ecosystems. It also offers an outstanding glimpse of the Linn Cove Viaduct and several mountains: Grandmother Mountain, Hawksbill, and Table Mountain. To preserve this delicate area, stay on designated paths, bridges, and boardwalks. Pets are not allowed on this section of the trail.

You will need to bring hiking footwear, water, lunch, and rain gear. All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, go to http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/  Gropu size will be limited to 15.

For more information please contact Kathy Rigsbee@ knrigsbee@gmail.com or 336 466 2803.