Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 11

When you go
Beech Mountain Trails
The Hike: Three one-mile trails, one
easy and the other two moderately
strenuous, along hemlock- and rhododendron-lined streams in Beech
Mountain, North Carolina.
Getting There: From Boone, North
Carolina, follow NC 105 for 15 miles and
turn right onto NC 184. Continue close to
5 miles to Banner Elk and turn left onto

Beech Mountain was developed as a
ski resort in the 1960s, but the
corporation went bankrupt in the
1970s and the facility went through
a number of owners before the
present one.

NC 194/184. NC 184 will veer to the right
and become South Beech Mountain
Parkway. Follow it into the town of Beech
Mountain and the visitor center at 403-A
Beech Mountain Parkway.
Trail Information: Trail maps may be
obtained at the visitor center, Fred's
General Mercantile (501 Beech Mountain
Parkway) or the Buckeye Recreation Area
(1330 Pine Ridge Road). General descriptions of all of the town's hiking trails may
be found at beechrecreation.org/trailsand-parks/hiking-trails.

their waterside backyards with whimsical presentations, such as a handcrafted tree branch gateway and
an innovative homemade hummingbird feeder. It was
these neighbors that also enabled me to see the large
green frog-it was a lawn ornament wearing a straw
hat-and the diminuative porcelain bear figurine
dressed as a nanny watching over three tiny stick
babies.
The pathway became woodsier downstream from
the homes, passing through a forest of beech and magnolia trees and dense thickets of rhododendron and
mountain laurel before coming to an end after 1 mile
at Lake Coffey. Anglers were using the shoreline and
handicapped-accessible pier to cast for catch-andrelease trout stocked by the state.
I continued beyond the lake on the route that was
now known as the Lower Pond Creek Trail. Along with
the new name came a decided difference in the character of the pathway. The stream began to descend at
a more rapid pace, as did the narrower trail (no longer
on an old logging road). The water dropped along 10to 20-foot waterfalls with shallow pools at their base
and on that warm, sunny summer day I couldn't resist
the enticement to wade into one.
The trail loses more than 400 feet in its 1-mile
length-and I'm pretty sure the majority of that is
done so in the last third of a mile. Although I was
passing through one of the prettiest areas on Beech
Mountain-and was enjoying myself immensely-I
had to hold onto tree trunks to stabilize myself and
place my feet carefully so as to not be tripped by the
roots and rocks jutting into the pathway.
Of course, that's what hiking is sometimes and it
didn't deter me from using the last hour of daylight for
one more woodlands walk. It was just a short drive to
the Falls Trail, a one-mile loop that also traversed some
steep terrain, but did so by way of fairly gentle switchbacks leading to a 20-foot waterfall (unfortunately its
flow was greatly diminished in mid-summer) near the
confluence of Buckeye Creek and Grassy Gap Creek. 
September/October 2015 11


http://www.beechrecreation.org/trails-and-parks/hiking-trails http://www.beechrecreation.org/trails-and-parks/hiking-trails

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015

The Family Farm is Alive and Well in the Virginia Mountains
7 States of Mountain Treks, Complete with a Beer or Wine Stop
The Photo Essay: Autumn Beauty
Wendell Scott Gets His Due
Weekend: Where the North Carolina and Tennessee Mountains Rub Shoulders
Chillin’ in Chattanooga
Charlottesville to Charleston aboard Amtrak
Great Tastes of the West Virginia Panhandle
Cavender Cabins: Enjoy the North Georgia Woods
From the Editor
Letters / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Country Roads
Festivals & Events
Singing in the Garden
Guest Column: Liz Belcher
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - B1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - B2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Letters / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Family Farm is Alive and Well in the Virginia Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 7 States of Mountain Treks, Complete with a Beer or Wine Stop
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Photo Essay: Autumn Beauty
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Wendell Scott Gets His Due
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Weekend: Where the North Carolina and Tennessee Mountains Rub Shoulders
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Chillin’ in Chattanooga
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Charlottesville to Charleston aboard Amtrak
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Great Tastes of the West Virginia Panhandle
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cavender Cabins: Enjoy the North Georgia Woods
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Singing in the Garden
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Guest Column: Liz Belcher
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover4
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