Monday, November 6, 2017

2017-10-31 Trombatore Trail and Rumbling Bald

Halloween Hike Day!
Trombatore Trail with Brenda
and a Rumbling Bald Solo Hike
Buncombe / Henderson / Rutherford County, NC
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Brenda and Me at  Blue Ridge Pastures along the Trombatore Trail

I had one more vacation day to use up before October 31st, which I saved it for the last possible day to join Brenda on a little Halloween hike along the Trombatore Trail.  I had never done this trail before and I expected that the fall color would be peaking in this area.

Instead of doing it as an out-and-back hike like I was planning, Brenda suggested making it a shuttle hike.  So we left her vehicle down at Hickory Nut Gap in Gerton, NC and drove my vehicle up to the Trombatore Trailhead along Bearwallow Mountain Road.

The official trail is about 2.5 miles and ends at a beautiful mountain top pasture called Blue Ridge Pastures.

 Blue Ridge Pastures along the Trombatore Trail

 Blue Ridge Pastures along the Trombatore Trail

From there we continued on via a series of obvious but unofficial trails which took us over to Ferguson Peak.

view from Ferguson Peak

From Ferguson Peak it is pretty much all downhill back down to Hickory Nut Gap for a total one way hike of just under 5 miles.





Brenda would only join me for the morning hike, so I was on my own for the rest of the day.  I decided to head on over to Rumbling Bald to hopefully catch some of those views with some nice Fall Color.

The Rumbling Bald Trail follows an old Jeep road which has become seriously eroded over the years.  It is no longer possible to take a vehicle up this road, but it is still easy enough to follow for a nice hike.

 Along the Rumbling Bald Trail
Once of the last vehicles to attempt to actually drive this old Jeep Trail

The turnoff to Party Rock is about 1.2 miles.  The trail climbs about 900 feet in elevation over this distance.  The views from Party Rock are some of the best around!

 view from Party Rock

view from Party Rock

After enjoying the views from Party Rock, I continued on up the main trail for about a half mile before beginning my bushwhack over to the Cougar Crag Area.  Since all the forest undergrowth was burned during last years forest fires this bushwhack is currently about as easy as it gets.  I would still only recommend for those experienced with off trail navigation!

The final stretch down to the open rock face and the Cougar Crag outcrop can be a bit tricky!

 View from Cougar Crag

 view from Cougar Crag

 view from Cougar Crag

view from Cougar Crag

Since this is off trail, these views are rarely seen!  The only disappointment was I was really hoping for some better Fall color!


I had a little bit of time left, but not enough to get all the way to Eagle Rock and back.  So instead I finished up the day with a little stroll around the Lake Lure Marina Area.

 Lake Lure

 Lake Lure

 Lake Lure

Lake Lure
 
Lake Lure

My complete set of photos is posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157687947443621




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