our fourth and final adventure during our lenoir stay was a return to the linville gorge wilderness and the big lost cove cliffs trail. it was close to the weekend, so we were looking for a “lightly trafficked” trail, and the kids voted for a scenic hike over a waterfall hike, so after some research we settled on this hike.
unlike the chimneys hike, this one was not scenic along the way at all. the payoff was the end. and it was a little more strenuous than we planned for, so there was a bit of grumbling along the way. but, we took lots of breaks, and slowly but surely trudged along.
the hike was mostly in the shade, and there was a lot of fun wildlife to be spotted. for most of the first half of the hike, we were surrounded by rhododendrons, and if we watched carefully, which we did, to take our minds off the steep climbs, there were lots of mushrooms to behold. and at the end, in the rocky cliffs, there were blueberry bushes nestled everywhere.
as soon as we reached the top, we plopped down, to enjoy the scenery and have a snack.
everyone was glad to have the uphill behind us. there were no other people at the top (and only a handful on the trail), so we had the place to ourselves. ruby was glad to stuff herself into the shade of the bushes and relax, as well.
after our snack, we wandered around to explore a bit, letting the adventure dog off her leash. she’s a regular mountain goat, and i trust her ability to navigate the cliffs more without the leash, than i trust her not to pull me off balance and to my death on her leash.
the scenery was pretty fantastic. and the rock scrambling was fun for the kids. but, not too long after we started wandering about, some ominous clouds rolled in, so we snapped all the obligatory photos. family. “mom pose”. feet pics. selfies. etcetera. and when we felt the first sprinkles, we hightailed it out of there.
thanks to a slightly terrifying thunderstorm experience in arches national park, the far off sounds of thunder on this hike had isaac a little stressed, so he lead the charge back out. the rain was barely touching us, because of all the tree cover, but by the time we were back to the car, we were a little wet, sweaty, tired, and slightly stressed out. except for hazel, who was just glad to be going downhill all the way.
the hike was about 4 miles total and 700′ elevation change. the actual hike wasn’t that fantastic, but the views were so worth it. i only wish we had a bit more time to enjoy them. but, we had been quite surprised at the number of people out and about on other trails and in boone and blowing rock, so it was nice to find this trail almost empty.
and that’s pretty much the end of our lenoir/green mountain rv adventures. we look forward to returning in the fall and exploring more of this area during leaf color changing times.