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Day 46: USFS WWC. Marion, NC

May 16, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • 55.6 MST takes a few switchbacks from the parking lot to a field and then passes through stanchions on a road, leaving the park. Continue on this road for 1.0 mile.
  • 56.6 Leave the road, going right.
  • 56.8 Round the end of the ridge.
  • 57.5 Leave the old road and go right.
  • 57.7 Make a gradual descent on the west side of Grassy Knob before reaching a floodplain and joining a wide trail. Go upstream along Tom’s Creek. Cross it, then cross a smaller tributary and arrive at a well-traveled road. Go left on the road for 0.8 mile in the Tom’s Creek floodplain.
  • 58.5 100 yards after crossing a designated wild-trout stream, flowing right to left on a concrete ford, leave the road to the right and begin an ascent on switchbacks.
  • 58.9 Make a moderate climb on the ridge. A road will join the trail from the left.
  • 59.0 Trail has been on an old road on a wide corridor, which narrows as it returns to the ridgeback.
  • 59.2 Leave rhododendron from the north side of the ridge, cross the ridge, and ascend through open forest past interesting rock outcrops.
  • 59.7 Continue a gradual ascent through open hardwood forest to a sharp right turn in the trail onto the ridge going north. An old road departs to the left. MST continues straight on the ridge.
  • 59.9 Continue the gradual ascent, passing through nice hardwoods on an old road.
  • 60.3 Pass through scrubby burned-over pines.
  • 60.8 Lake Tahoma is visible to the south as MST ascends gradually on the contour.
  • 61.0 Trail ascends moderately, then gradually, on an old road to a ridge and a gap where there is a fire ring.
  • 61.2 Trail ascends moderately north and west before wrapping around the south end of the ridge.
  • 61.3 Climb gradually on the right (east) side of the ridge. In winter, there are good views to the east and southeast.
  • 61.6 Trail is wide, making a gradual ascent on the rounded ridge, before narrowing and becoming steeper.
  • 61.8 A trail to the right leads to the site of the Woods Mtn. Lookout Tower. The only vestiges of the tower are the four concrete corner footings.
  • 61.9 Trail goes north on the east side of the knob and then takes a sharp left to round the north side before making a rapid descent on the ridgeback.
  • 62.1 Crossing on a narrow ridge, ascend around the peak of Woods Mtn., before staying level, then descending. In 0.2 mile around the top, there is a fire ring and good views to the north.
  • 62.7 The descent on switchbacks is rapid, then trail becomes more gradual along a ridge.
  • 63.6 Trail climbs to the top of a narrow ridge with views of Lake Tahoma.
  • 64.2 Round a knob on the right, descend to a gap where there is a fire ring, then ascend on top of the ridge.
  • 64.7 Trail descends, switching back on the east side, then levels out going south in rhododendrons.
  • 65.0 Make a moderate descent from one knob to the next, then take switchbacks to climb the next knob.
  • 65.2 Descend moderately from the knob on the north side before reaching a narrow ridge, staying level.
  • 65.3 Skirt around the south side of a knob, then descend to a saddle where a trail crosses.
  • 65.4 Continue on a narrow ridge, reach the south side of a knob, then make a moderate climb.
  • 65.7 On a rounded ridge, reach a saddle, then make an ascent to a rounded knob.
  • 66.2 Make a moderate ascent before rounding the next knob.
  • 66.4 Make a brief ascent and reach the top of a knob with views west to Buck Creek Gap.
  • 66.5 Reach Horse Gap where Armstrong Creek Trail (FST 223) goes north.
  • 66.6 MST follows contours around the south and east side of the knob and makes an easy-to-moderate climb to a saddle.
  • 66.8 Trail joins an old road that comes in from the right and reaches a gap with views south. Continue west through a white gate.
  • 67.1 Leave the ridge and begin a descent to BRP on an old road parallel to BRP.
  • 67.4 Reach BRP at Buck Creek Gap, where the trail goes left onto the parkway and crosses a viaduct that goes over NC 80. It exits past the overpass to the right. There is parking on NC 80 south of BRP. K
  • 67.6 Trail follows a ridge, which turns south; BRP passes underneath through a tunnel. Make a gradual descent along the ridge, now on the south (east) side of the parkway.
  • 68.6 Cross BRP again to the north (west) and follow a ridge along it.
  • 69.0 Cross BRP to the south and east and emerge into Singecat Overlook parking area (MP 345.3), where there is daytime access. Leave the parking area on the south and west side and ascend the ridge going west.
  • 69.1 Continue on the ridge south of BRP, heading west.
  • 69.5 Cross the BRP. No parking access.
  • 69.9 Ascend from BRP to a gap, then make a gradual descent.
  • 70.2 Parallel BRP, which appears as a distinctive flat ridge to the south.
  • 70.8 Cross the remnants of an old logging road.
  • 70.9 On a steep slope, the trail goes between boulders and over slick rocks.
  • 71.2 Cross a Roaring Fork tributary, where there is camping downstream to the right. A 4,160-foot rocky peak looms to the south. A
  • 71.9 Trail goes through the gap between Big Laurel and Big Ridge, leading into the Roaring Fork basin.
  • 72.1 To the northwest, across the valley, a view of the ridge with Balsam, Cattail Peak, Potato Hill, and Winterstar (L-R), all over 5,000 feet.
  • 72.2 Cross over the ridge and enter Neal’s Creek basin. You will gradually descend with this ridge, making several wide switchbacks back and forth across its spine. On the ridge, you may hear the sound of the South Toe and have a view of the Neal’s Creek bowl.
  • 72.7 Trail widens as it follows an old road, crossing a more gradual slope.
  • 72.9 MST joins the spine of the ridge, coming down from the left. To the north-northwest, across the South Toe River valley, there is a view of Maple Camp Bald and beyond it, 6,000-foot Cattail Peak.
  • 73.0 MST joins an old road coming in from the right.
  • 73.1 Trail continues its descent and offers a view of the Neal’s Creek bowl.
  • 73.2 Reach a gate, cross FS 2074 and pass through another gate onto an old logging road.
  • 73.4 Cross bridge over Neal’s Creek. Still on the logging road, pass through a gate.
  • 73.6 MST leaves the old logging road.
  • 73.7 Pass a wildlife field and old apple trees on the right, then cross a rocky wet-weather streambed.
  • 73.8 Cross Lost Cove Creek.
  • 73.9 MST merges with a logging road, coming from the right, which continues to FS 472.
  • 74.0 Wildlife field on the right.
  • 74.2 The old logging road merges with another old road coming from the right.
  • 74.7 MST leaves the old logging road.
  • 74.9 Green Knob Trail (FST 182) and River Loop Trail (FST 200) join from the left, and the combined trails continue west.
  • 75.2 Arrive at a parking area on FS 472 (South Toe River Rd.) and the western end of Segment 4. Note: To reach the parking area by car from the BRP, take NC 80 (at MP 344) toward Burnsville. After the small community of Busick, turn left onto South Toe River Rd. This road will eventually turn to gravel and follow the river. At the gravel road intersection, make a slight turn on the first right. The parking area is on your left just before a bridge and the entrance to the Black Mtn. Campground on the right.


May 16, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Throwing Bones Run