Sunday, November 24, 2013
After driving about 47 miles from the Inn I connected with DuPont State Forest. This 10,000 acre state forest has over 90 miles of hiking trails. I chose the 3 mile roundtrip hike which takes you to 3 waterfalls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls. Its not a difficult hike and the trail is gravel and well marked, but there are a few steep spots when reaching the waterfalls. Most of the falls can be viewed from the top and bottom.
It was pretty crowded the weekend I went, but if you arrive earlier, during the week or off season you could avoid the crowds. There are restrooms and picnic areas. The movie Hunger Games was filmed in the park including Hooker Falls and Triple falls. I actually saw some of the filming the first time I went to the park a few years back.
Directions from the Inn- travel 276S through Pisgah National Forest and Brevard, in Penrose there will be a Marathon gas station on your right, turn right here on Crab Creek Rd, continue 4.3 miles to DuPont Rd and make a right after about 3.1 miles you will see Hooker Falls Parking area on your right.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Purchase Knob is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is about thirteen miles from the Inn. It took me about thirty minutes to get there and the hiking time is about one and a half to two hours. The hike starts on Purchase Road at the gate, park here even if the gate is open or you could get locked behind the gate. Then its a gradual climb on a gravel road. The road will split, take the road to the left, there will be a sign for Ferguson Cabin and Cataloochee Divide Trail follow that up. To the right, a grassy path will lead you to Purchase Knob this is a steeper climb but worth it. The round trip distance is about two and a half miles. The Smokies, Pisgah National Forest and the Black Mountains can all be viewed . On the way down there is a short trail to Ferguson Cabin which was built in the 1870's and was inhabited until 1902 it is open and the inside and outside can both be seen. Purchase Knob is great place to spend the day. There are other trails that can be joined for a longer hike and it doesn't seem to get as crowded as some other hikes.