DARK MOUNTAIN††† †††††††††††
Last weekend was busy, but I managed to squeeze in a quick hike in the Uwharrie National Forest.† The plan was to hike the northern-most section of the Uwharrie Trail.† I was looking forward to it, as I hadnít hiked that part of the trail in years.
I met Joel at the parking area for the Uwharrie Trail on highway 109 west of Troy.† From there, we drove to the north end of the trail near Ophir and left my car.† I returned to the trailhead with Joel, and we were on our way by 9:30.†
The trail led through a pleasant hardwood forest.† The hiking was easy, though the rocky trail was a bit of challenge, especially since it was covered with fallen leaves.† The highlight of the trail was probably the streams.† Twice we crossed small brooks at pleasant campsites.† Spencer Creek was more significant.† Fortunately a sturdy bridge was there to get us to the far side.
The most difficult part of the hike was a final climb over Dark Mountain.† The trail climbed to a rocky ridge and followed it to the summit.† Allen Dehartís guidebook promised an excellent view from the top, but the vista failed to materialize.† Since the leaves were off the trees, we were treated to some limited views of the rolling terrain that surrounded us.
The descent from Dark Mountain was nasty, as the trail dropped steeply down through a boulder field.† The fallen leaves made it impossible to see the rocks underfoot, and each step had to be taken with care.† Eventually we made it down to my car, after 8 Ĺ miles and 5 hours of hiking on a beautiful late-fall day.† We hadnít seen anyone all day, and the only sounds we had experienced were babbling brooks and crunching leaves.†
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