This is a 12.5 mile shuttle hike along the Mountains to Sea trail starting from the road to the Craggy Gardens Picnic area and ending at NC 128 (Road up to Mt. Mitchell). The hike will have lots of good views and varied terrain and will go past Blackstock Knob (6340 ft). Elevation gain of about 3100 ft.
We will meet at Earthfare-Westgate at 9am. Do a meet and greet and arrange the carpooling. Leave promptly at 9:15am and drive along Blue Ridge Parkway to parking area near Craggy gardens.
The trail if wet can create traction problems. The trail is mostly covered but will include 3 D views at Glassmine falls overlook and a rocky outcrop just past the Glassmine Falls overlook, then a strenuous climb up Blackstock Knob, a ridgeline walk and about 1 and 1/2 miles of rocky trail decent right at the end crossing through mossy rocks and trees. Long pants are recommended because of the overgrowth on the trail if wet. If you are comfortable with poles bring them.
This hike is considered strenuous due to the length and the elevation changes along the trail. Do not consider doing this hike unless you have recent experience at this length and level of difficulty. We will keep a good pace but we will not try to outrun anyone on the trail. Make sure you have appropriate clothing as the weather can change quickly in this area. Bring plenty of food and water and prepare for a good day of hiking, about 6-7 hours.
I have limited the size to 10 hikers so that we can fit in 3 cars as parking is limited at the trailhead. Friendly dogs are also welcome on this hike.
Hike Length: 12.5 miles Hike Duration: 6-7 hours
Hike Rating: Difficult, strenuous
Blaze: White Circle
Elevation Gain: 3100 feet
Hike Configuration: Shuttle (may require ride in back of pickup truck)
Make sure you’re in good physical condition for this one