A great hike for beginners on a moderate trail that gives a chance to try out gear and gumption while covering ~5.5 miles (~2000' of rise/fall) of reasonably groomed trails lined with some wildlife and plush woods.
If you're interested, sign up & let's meet up for a lap of Percy Warner's Mossy Ridge and chase the sun out of the park. Plan on meeting Thursdays at 6:30pm and heading to the trail no later than 6:45pm.
Rain or shine?:
Hike takes place year round in all conditions (save for high risk (windy) weather - the trail does have a lot of widow makers lurking on it).
How long does it last?:
Hike lasts around two hours (a little less on cooler nights, a bit longer on hotter nights).
Where do we meet?:
We will start from the "Cross Country" parking lot off of Highway 100 (just east of the junction at Old Hickory) by the Bob Brown Field House (click here for a map/street view) and take the Candy Cane Connector to the Mossy Ridge trail. Depending on the group's preference, we may proceed clockwise or counter-clockwise (some feel counter-clockwise is easier) for a little variety on the Mossy Ridge trail.
Should a cross country meet be in play at the park, plan on meeting back by the Bob Brown Field house (vs. the parking lot) to make it easier to find the group & start on time.
If we finish at a reasonable time, we will often head to the Brewhouse 100 or Sportsman's for a little camaraderie & grub before heading off into the night.
What do you need?:
• Light(s) required to finish the hike out and ensure your safety.
• Recommend carrying water as the summer nights are still quite warm well into the night.
• If rain was/is in the forecast, gaiters are handy to keep mud & muck out of your boots or shoes. A light weight shell is also handy to carry if weather looks iffy.
• For summer hikes, dress accordingly to vent and stay cool. Opt for synthetics over cotton to help keep yourself from being soaked and having trouble cooling.
• For winter hikes, dress accordingly to vent and stay warm. The key to temperature control is staying dry, so bear that in mind as you select your layers.
• Numerous rocky areas, scree, and roots are present on the trail. So treat your feet as you see fit for comfort and safety bearing that in mind. I recommend wearing hiking boots or shoes.
• Bug spray highly recommended.
• Poles are a personal preference thing, never use mine unless it is super slick/icy or if I twist an ankle. However, if you are prone to doing your own stunts, I'd recommend using them to provide a bit of stability.
• FRS radios are welcome, default to channel 1 for general monitoring/use. Alternate channel is usually 7/11 for convenience. Try to keep banter to a minimum though, and let the wildlife wander peacefully.
• Dogs are welcome to come along, but must be on a leash. It's the law and snakes frequent the trail. Don't risk putting your furry friend in harm's way...
• The past several years have witnessed yellow jacket nests within proximity of or on the trail. If you are allergic to bee stings, please make it known to the group and travel prepared.