Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016-10-09 Silvermine Bald - Devil's Courthouse - Little Sam Loop

Silvermine Bald, Devil's Courthouse,
Little Sam Knob Loop Hike
With Amy and Brenda
Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Brenda, Jack, and Amy at Devil's Courthouse
Photo by some guy holding Brenda's Camera

My wife Amy and I joined Brenda for an "Amy Approved" 6.0 mile loop hike. 

It was a beautiful morning along the Blue Ridge Parkway with crystal clear skies, cool temperatures (about 40 degrees starting out), and a little bit of fall color just starting to pop.  The 50mph wind gusts left over from Hurricane Matthew made it feel even colder.

We started out at the Black Balsam Parking area off of FR816 and hiked the road a short distanced to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST).

 Brenda and Amy on the MST

view from the MST looking towards Silvermine Bald

 Amy along the MST

We followed the MST to the south-west through an impressive pine forest to Silvermine Bald which offers up some impressive 180-degree views to the South.


 View from Silvermine Bald

Brenda and Amy on Silvermine Bald

view from Silvermine Bald

We continued on the MST to the Spur Trail that leads to Devil's Courthouse.  This trail crosses well above the Blue Ridge Parkway over one the tunnels.  You don't even realize that you are crossing the parkway!  Another neat thing about this approach is that it makes the climb up to Devil's Courthouse only about 150-feet in elevation gain.

The views from Devil's courthouse were very impressive, but the wind was intense! 
Brenda and Amy at Devil's Courthouse

view from Devil's Courthouse

At Devil's Courthouse

 view from Devil's Courthouse


 Amy showing off her Socks for Gloves!

view of Little Sam Knob from Devil's Courthouse

We backtracked a bit and continued our loop on the Little Sam Trail which offers up some nice views of Little Sam Knob

View of Little Same Knob from the Little Sam Trail


Brenda and Amy crossing some of the Flat Laure Creek Headwaters


Shortly after crossing over the headwaters of Flat Laurel Creek, Amy let out a scream! 

This little fella gave Amy a scare!  
Most likely our last snake sighting of the year


We finished up our loop hike on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail which gradually gains elevation back to the parking area.


Little Sam Knob / Big Sam Knob Panorama

Brenda and Amy hiking up the Flat Laurel Creek Trail


This is an awesome "Amy Approved" loop hike perfect for being able to enjoy the North Carolina High Country without having to endure any significant climbs.  It was a very enjoyable and relaxing hike!

Here is the GPS Track from our hike:
GPS Track from our Hike
We started at the Top Right and did the Loop Clockwise


The Complete set of photos is posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157671628565013

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