Meanderthals: A Hiking Blog is a series of trail reports for many of the best hikes in Western North Carolina. I am fortunate to live in this beautiful environment, this “Land of Waterfalls,” and have the opportunity to day hike nearly every week. The Blue Ridge Mountains in Pisgah National Forest rise as high as 6600 feet, and are filled with new and old-growth conifer and hardwood forests. The mountain laurel and rhododendron are plentiful, and the region fully enjoys all four seasons. Most posts on this blog will be about hikes available in this area. So, load your pack and join me.
Occasionally however, I do branch out to other parts of the country. For example, I love the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the red rock desert and canyonlands of the American Southwest.
You may ask, “What is a Meanderthal?” Urban Dictionary defines meanderthal as “An old person who walks at an extremely slow pace. (A combination of “meander” which means to walk slowly with no apparent destination, and “neanderthal” which refers to something old, ancient or prehistoric.)” Well, the guys I hike with are retired and of an age to be eligible for senior discounts, and we do tend to meander about in the woods in a Neanderthal-like fashion. We’re all in pretty good shape for old men, so we push ourselves. We do a lot of arduous, black diamond rated hiking. It is great for our health and well being, but some of the climbing is pretty dangerous and we always have to be aware of falling or other injury. Despite the fact we are always careful, some might say we’re pretty stupid. Hence our tag line:
“If you are gonna be dumb you better be tough.” Maybe we are and maybe we aren’t, but we’ve logged a lot of miles together, much of it vertical. We tough it out rain or shine, all year ’round, on the coldest winter days, and the hottest the summer has in store. We carry pruning saws so we can keep the trails maintained. We volunteer on the Blue Ridge Parkway, picking up trash and other debris at Pounding Mill Overlook at mile marker 413.3. If you happen to be out and about in Pisgah National Forest or Linville Gorge Wilderness on a week day, you might run into us.
Perhaps you like the rugged terrain found in Shining Rock Wilderness here in North Carolina, or the Mountain Bridge Wilderness just across the line in South Carolina. Maybe the waterfalls of DuPont State Forest made recognizable by The Hunger Games will entice you to this area. You could hike here for years and not do the same trail twice.
Trails and hikes are categorized as easy, moderate, or difficult so you can find just what you need for your level of fitness. They are also categorized as forest hikes for those who love to simply get out in the woods… or, trails with water features like streams, creeks, rivers and waterfalls, or hikes with vistas, generally those that climb to the top of a mountain for maximum viewing pleasure. Use the menu bar, or the tags and categories in the sidebar for navigation.
If there’s anything you are not finding on this blog that you would like to see, please feel free to use the comments feature, or drop me an email through the contact page. I’m always looking to enhance the information exchange. By describing my experiences hiking Western North Carolina, I hope to better prepare you when you venture out to see the glorious scenery this part of the country has to offer.
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