I got permission from Noelle to go on a solo hike today. Since the forecast called for a beautiful day, I decided I would head over to Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area to hike a portion of the Overmountain Victory Trail up to Yellow Mountain Gap and the Appalachian Trail. It was a pleasant drive to the town of Roan Mountain. I was delayed a bit, however, by traffic in Erwin for the Unicoi County Apple Festival. Once I got out of Erwin though, the driving went much more quickly. I arrived at the trailhead off of Hampton Creek Road and got my gear ready for my hike. I passed through a gate and was on my way.
The lower portions of the hike passed through many pastures. The trail was marked with wooden posts with the Overmountain Victory Trail emblem on them.
Eventually the trail wound its way into the woods. Still, it was well maintained and easy to follow. I crossed a few small cascading streams and made a small descent before beginning a steep ascent up to the the Appalachian Trail and Yellow Mountain Gap. I decided I would check out the Overmountain Shelter and eat a snack there. I had skipped the shelter when I thru-hiked in 2000, but can remember being able to see it from the trail. I took a short blue-blazed trail to the old barn where I ate a snack and admired the view from the front of the shelter.
It was an easy descent back down the trail. Once back in the natural area I took the Birchfield Trail instead of the Overmountain Victory Trail.