Saturday, November 28, 2009

Big O to a section of trail I have been wanting to explore for a long time, then finish with Sinkhole

21.4 mile mountain bike ride and I managed not to get shot by any overzealous hunters. Actually there were plently of hunters out but the ones I saw were all on the forest service roads. It seems like most of them just drive around all day. Birthday Knob Instead of taking the right on The Big O (towards Pine Ridge on Pine Gap Trail) which would drop out behind the Visitors Center, I kept straight towards the west end of the Pine Gap Trail. I had followed the trail in this direction a mile or so one day a couple of years ago but I had turned around. I was determined to follow it to the end this time. I have tried to find where the trail drops out and wasn't sure if it would be onto Raidercamp or Brown Mountain Beach Road. Today I found it drops onto Raidercamp right at the big campsite just before the Harper Creek crossing. The trail crosses a small creek right behind the campsite. At this point, the trail connection is very obscure. Harper Creek ended up being a wet foot crossing today but the water wasn't too cold and I kept moving which kept me warm.
These shots were from the "new" section of the Big O trail.
It was a little tight in a few sections but good to go for the most part.
This is where it started to get a little too steep and wet to ride. The creek started following a creek with some nice slides and falls. There was some downfall and hike a bike right before the trail dropped down to Raiderscamp/Harper Creek.I was so close I couldnt help myself, Harper Creek had some flow today:
The view of Grandfather Mountain on the climb up to the top of Sinkhole/Goat Trail:
Sinkhole:Leaves galore on
Goat Trail:
The red trail is the route I took today. The blue route shows the standard Big O dropping out behind the Visitors Center.