Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain, High Mountain Park Preserve (12/13/2008)

On Thanksgiving we hiked a substantial part of the westerm section of this unsung perserve. But while we also intended to hike the yellow trail south to the two viewpoints shown on this map, we ran out of time. So, today we went back to hike to those two viewpoints on Beech Mountain. This time we parked at the circular parking area between Dakota Trail and Indian Trail Drive. We hiked the yellow trail all the way to Reservoir Drive and then turned around and retraced out steps, adding a spur visit to the waterfall on the short orange trail.

There is a short stretch on the yellow trail, before passing the JVC office building, where the blazes become mysteriously painted-over. As it turns out, the trail was re-routed to a lower elevation and much closer to the JVC office building (though parallel to the old trail). But the place where the new yellow forks from the old yellow was all painted over, so we didn't even notice that a new yellow forked off to the right. Hence, we kept following the painted over blazes, which eventually led us to near the JVC building where we noticed the re-routed yellow trail coming in from the right. When we hiked back on the return, we took the new yellow trail back because the blazes were much easier to follow in the return direction.

As it turns out there is one really good viewpoint (the western "star" on the map). The other viewpoint is quite obstructed, even with all of the leaves off the trees; there's a chance we may have missed a spur trail to the viewpoint but we were pretty circumspect and don't think we did. Total distance travelled was about 5 miles.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Tiny bridge at northern trail head

At intersection with orange trail

Mini Palisades on yellow trail

Yellow to left, white to right

Steady climb up Beech Mountain

Blazes painted over


JVC building from old yellow trail

Heavy rains for past three days ...

... turned trail into a stream

[photo by Laura]

Laura at the viewpoint

Fire ring on Beech

View of Point View Reservoir


Erratic at second "viewpoint"

Erratic on erratic [photo by Laura]

Lamb's Ears on Beech

More ice

Ice art


At Reservoir Drive

Frozen swamp


Looking down at Laura

Back to the viewpoint

Wayne Hills High School and reservoir

Water tower in distance

Our lunch spot



JVC from new yellow trail


Huge rock formations near white connector trail



Downy woodpecker

Watching the woodpecker

Red-tailed hawk


Close-up of Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls

Flooded orange trail


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