Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pisgah National Forest: Betty Place Trail

Today Sierra, Noelle and I headed out for a short hike near Hot Springs on the Betty Place Trail. We followed US25/70 to Upper Shut-in Road and followed the road up the hollow until we saw a sign marking the Betty Place Trail. Here we turned left onto a muddy dirt road and headed steeply uphill until the road ended at a pair of secluded homes. We found no trailhead for our intended hiking trail and so we turned around disappointed that the attempt had been a failure. It wasn't until we had nearly returned to the Upper Shut-in Road, at a wide spot that we saw a small kiosk (covered with vegetation) and the sign for our trail. It looked like we would be making our hike after all!

We ate a snack at the car
snack in the trunk
and then hit the trail. The trail was a bit overgrown and followed a series of old roads through the woods. We saw a few interesting mushrooms along the way,
mushroom
but no animal life. The trail climbed higher and higher and crossed a few small streams until finally,
Noelle crosses creek
it left the old road bed and turned into singletrack. We followed this tread along a ridge for a bit and then rejoined another old road. Eventually we came to a fairly flat, open area that I'm guessing was the site of the Betty Place. If there's anything left of it, we did not see it. Of course the winter would be a better time of the year to explore an old home site. Even though we did not see any signs of the former habitation, we did see some pretty wildflowers in bloom.
blooming wildflowers

From the flat we started downhill on the old road and before we knew it we were crossing a small creek on a substantial wooden bridge near the trailhead.
Noelle on bridge
We returned to the car and then headed into Hot Springs for lunch. Overall, it was a rather underwhelming hike. Still, any time spent out in the woods with family is a good time.       

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