Looming high over Marion and the North Fork Catawba River Valley, Bald Knob and Dobson Knob form a whale-like ridge that stands separate from the mountains of Linville Gorge. Even though these peaks lie within Pisgah National Forest, this area is largely unknown to the casual hiker. The only maintained trail running through this area is North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail . We will head east from the North Fork of the Catawba river, crossing the river on a pedestrian bridge then climb 2000 ft to the top of Bald Knob, and then continue on the MST on a steep climb to Dobson Knob This is an out and back hike that clocks in at approx. 12 miles. This is the same hike that we did last fall but this time we will go all the way to Dobson Knob. We will enjoy fantastic views of Linville Gorge and Lake James from Bald Knob there are supposed to be good views of the North Fork of the Catawba from Dobson Knob. This is an unusual hike in that the area we hike through was burned a few years ago so you are out in the open almost the whole hike, therefore exposed to the elements. I would rate this hike as Strenuous to Very Strenuous due to the elevation gain and the length. We will stop for food and drink on the way home.
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