Not all hikes involve waterfalls. True statement. Some people don’t believe this, and one went as far as commenting on my Faceook post about a trail hike: What’s the point if there isn’t a wayterfall? That moron was quickly unfriended. I do love my waterfall hikes but after my knee surgery and my being told repeatedly by my doctor that if I didn’t stop with the crazy scrambles until my knee healed, it was going to take forever, I took up distance hiking. It began with the CMC Firetower Challenge, then the 250 mile stretch of the MST from Linville to Clingman’s Dome. Now I’m on to the Pisgah 400, which is hiking all 400 miles of official trails in the Pisgah Ranger District. I’m over halfway done. It’ll be a wrap in 2023. The Smokies 800 is my long term goal, all 800 miles in the GSMNP. End of 2024 if all goes well. These are some of my favorite non-waterfall hikes. MOst of them are long hikes, but one isn’t, Looking Glass Rock. Looking Glass Rock makes this list in part to the hike and in part to my obsession with completing it. The first time I was driving up US276 through Pisgah I remember coming around the bend in a road not too far from the pull off for Moore Cove Falls and seeing the imposing granite face. Since that first view, I have wanted to make the hike to the summit but I didn’t an opportunity until July of 2015.
1 – Clingman’s Dome to Mingus Mill – 26.5 miles, 8000 feet of descent 4000 feet of ascent. 11.5 hours!
2 – The Shut-In Trail – 20.5 miles on the MST from the Pisgah Inn to the NC Arboretum
Hanging Rock Summit