The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All, no doubt hoping the pretty yellow mushrooms draw attention from her wind-blown hair.
Apple Orchard Trail, Appalachian Trail to and from Black Rocks, Cornelius Creek Trail. 8.6 miles.
After a week walking on beaches, it was a good good thing to be back on trails in the mountains, even if the climb from the base of the Apple Orchard Trail to the Appalachian Trail is a steady and occasionally steep affair. The falls, by the way, were a whisper on this day – a thin white line coming down the rocks.
On up, along the AT and out to Black Rocks we had the trails pretty much to ourselves until we crossed a couple we'd seen coming down the Apple Orchard as we started up – apparently doing the loop in the opposite direction and without the add-on to Black Rocks.
Cornelius Creek seemed less affected by dry weather than the falls, flowing along right nicely and providing the usual pools for the dog to splash in.
This is, simply, a great loop walk at every time of year.
U.S. Forest Service information on Apple Orchard Falls and Cornelius Creek trails here.
How to get there: Exit 168 from I-81; 614 to the left turn onto FR 59 and to its end.
Hike: September 5, 2010.