For our first hike in the Oconaluftee area, we chose Cabin Flats Trail. This is a sweet little 1.1 mile one way trail that goes up to backcountry campsite 49 on the banks of Bradley Creek. The real problem with Cabin Flats Trail is that the trailhead is 4 miles from the road. So our sweet little out and back hike ended up being 9.2 miles.
|Found this showy orchis among the phlox and geranium|
|Bradley Fork Trail|
|A side creek|
|The bridge on Smokemont Loop Trail is still broken in the middle|
Our hike crossed Bradley Fork and a couple of side creeks, but all crossings were on foot bridges. One was on an impressive trestle bridge. This area escaped the logging industry and the bridge seemed too narrow even for old cars. We’re not sure what the bridge was originally used for.
Cabin Flats Trail isn’t quite as flat as Bradley Fork, but almost with only a slight rise before dropping back down to creek level again at campsite 49. The trail ends here at this beautiful campsite next to the creek nestled in amongst the rhododendron.
This was a great place for our coffee break. Well, Gene had coffee; I had hot chocolate. Anything hot would do--I was freezing to death. It was a cold, blustery morning and we hadn’t been on the trail very many minutes before it started to sleet. That lasted for an hour or so then it started to snow. We had sleet or snow all the way to campsite 49. While we sat on a log drinking our hot beverage, the sun finally started to peek out through a few holes in the clouds.
|Yes, that's snow on the rhododendron|
That’s all for today. Thanks for tagging along.