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Day 52: Balsam, NC
May 22, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- 51.8 Turn left on BRP and pass MP 443.
- 51.9 Just after crossing bridge over US 74 at Balsam Gap, turn left into woods at MST signpost.
- 52.6 Turn left on BRP and go through the gate. Note: For the next 0.9 mile, you will be on the shoulder of the BRP, so use caution.
- 53.0 Pass MP 444.
- 53.5 Just beyond “Overlook Ahead” sign, turn right at MST signpost onto road with yield sign and single yellow stripe.
- 53.6 When you reach a parking lot, turn right onto a small path through the woods at the lower end of the parking lot, leading to a gravel road. Turn left on the gravel road, then stay left on Greenspire Dr. at a Y-intersection with Rosemount Rd. K
- 54.6 Continue straight where an old road heads up to the right.
- 55.2 At Y-intersection with overgrown track, stay left on main road.
- 55.4 Pass through a gate.
- 55.5 At a hairpin turn in the gravel road, head into the woods on a trail marked with a white-blazed signpost.
- 55.6 Where the roadbed you are traveling on becomes overgrown, bear left onto trail heading slightly downhill.
- 55.7 Cross small creek.
- 56.3 Pass blue-blazed spur trail to BRP on left, then cross footbridge over Woodfin Creek.
- 58.2 Reach BRP and turn right to walk along the road.
- 58.8 Turn right into the woods at the white-blazed signpost just before Fork Ridge Overlook.
- 59.0 Cross a small stream.
- 59.5 Cross a small stream.
- 61.0 Reach the western end of Segment 2 at a T-intersection with a paved path. Turn right to begin hiking Segment 1A, or turn left to begin hiking Segment 1B or reach the Waterrock Knob parking lot (at MP 451.2). Note: The overlook has parking, a visitor center with a small convenience store (open seasonally), and restrooms. There is no water. If you turn right onto the paved path, the summit of Waterrock Knob, with spectacular views, is 0.5 mile ahead.