What This Is About

What This Is About

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 every week. The Blue Ridge Mountains in Pisgah National Forest rise as high as 6,600 feet, and are filled with conifer and hardwood forests, some old growth. 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.

Top 25 Best Hiking Blogs of 2021

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, strenuous 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’re 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, and in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as citizen scientists. 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.

AmericanTrails.org Winning Website

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. Occasionally, we also venture into canyon country in the American Southwest. Use the menu bar up top, 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.

If you would like a Meanderthals sticker, just use the Contact Page to drop me a line with your name and mailing address. Put Meanderthals Sticker on the subject line. I’ll get one right out to you.

Meanderthals is another Internet Brothers web property.


How to Navigate the Site

Use the menu bar at the top to get around. The Trail Reports section is divided into Easy Hikes, Moderate Hikes, and Difficult Hikes, as well as those featuring Canyons, Forest, Vistas, or Water. Trail Reports are also categorized by State within the United States. Choose the “What State?” menu item to select from lists of trails I have hiked in each state. You will also find Hiking News, Best Hikes, Reviews including gear, books and film, and Interviews with hiking aficionados. If it’s just pictures that interest you, check out the Gallery, or a feature new to the site summer of 2015: Photo Essays. You may also search for specific terms.

Down the right hand sidebar are additional means of navigating. The Categories section divides the trail reports by location, and by type of hike (i.e. canyon, vista, water, forest). The Tag Cloud is a means of looking for specific keywords. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, I invite you to use the Contact option on the menu bar to drop me a line. Thanks for visiting and happy trails.


What others are saying about Meanderthals









Justin Simons
Justin Simons Friend of Hiking
Just a quick note to thank you for the awesome site! I’ve used it for a couple of years now, and it is by far the most helpful hiking blog I’ve come across. Your hiking reviews are clear and thorough, with just the right amount of detail and visual through pictures and maps. Your site has been invaluable in helping me learn about the wonderful outdoor opportunities in the Carolinas. Please keep up the great work!












Jeff Clark
Jeff Clark Meanderthals photography has appeared in:












  1. Rick Nelson

    Jeff, love the name- Neanderthals! Just bought our retirement cabin near Hiawasee Dam in Murphy, N.C. This is all amazing info to me, and I hope to meet some of my fellow retirees on the trails when We’re up there full time in a year or so.

  2. Hi,

    We would like to send a proposal about our affiliate program.

    Do you want to earn income from your Hiking content? We can help you!

    Join our 3000+ partners and start earning money while promoting our large range of travel experiences alongside your Hiking content.

    Would be great to share more about this opportunity over the phone.

    Wishing you a great day,

    • Janine Lopez


      I haven’t heard back from you, so I am wondering if you’re not interested or if you’ve just been really busy?- It may be a busy time for you and increasing the income from your content may not be a top priority right now.

      I will reach out to you later in the future, if you allow me to do so.

      All the best,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.