We get out about once a week to hike usually in central to western North Carolina. We hike slowly and stop often to enjoy the views and the little treasures that nature offers. We enjoy waterfall, river, and mountain hikes frequently visiting The Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Moutains National Park, and Pisgah National Forest.
On this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon we decided to hike King's Pinnacle from where the Ridgeline trail crosses Pinnacle Rd. We had hiked the Pinnacle last month using the Pinnacle Trail from the main visitor center in Crowder Mountain State Park but we had never hiked this trail before. It approaches the peak from the opposite end of this long narrow mountain.
The trail immediately climbs away from the road in a series of gentle switchbacks. We were surprised how quickly we were looking down on the road. After the first hill the trail continues straight ahead sometimes climbing gently and sometimes level. It was in this section that we saw the only four people we would encounter on this trail. About the time we were commenting on how easy the trail was we saw a steep hill ahead. It wasn't too long and had steps built in to the hill to help us along. At the top of the hill was a signpost with .5 miles on both sides and some large rocks. We had come .5 miles on the trail and had .5 miles to where we would meet the Pinnacle Trail.
For the next five minutes we worked our way around and over rocks on a narrow ridge. There is just enough difficulty here to add interest to the hike but no major obstacles. The trail then leveled out and soon we had a view of the peak ahead. We would have a pleasant level woods walk until we were past the peak and ready to join the Pinnacle Trail.
We knew we were near the trail junction where we began hearing voices and seeing people above us on the hill. The sign at the junction said that we had hiked .96 miles and it was .17 miles to the Pinnacle. This last section is the hardest part of the trail. It is steep and eroded with rocks and roots exposed. For more information on this section and the ridge on top see my post from 1/22/2011. While we were on this section of trail and relaxing at the top we saw about fifty people as compared to four people on the rest of the hike.