This would be the last of the three short hikes I had planned for the day, a five mile round-trip hike on the upper section of the Beech Gap Trail. It was again a long, bumpy drive on the Balsam Mountain Road. I was relieved to get out of the car and stretch my legs.
After a quick exploration of the railroad grade, I returned to the Beech Gap Trail and started the long, unrelenting ascent. The autumn colors were amazing along this trail,
The descent went pretty quickly.