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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:21 PM   #1
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Default Rocky Fork Loop Hike

Took a fine little 16 mile hike around the perimeter of Rocky Fork Wilderness recently. We picked the perfect day to enjoy Rosebay Rhododendrons at their peak of bloom.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:22 PM   #2
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Here are some more in bloom, close to the creek.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:22 PM   #3
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And one of the many waterfalls at Rocky Fork, also highlighted by Rosebay Rhododendrons.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:23 PM   #4
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Our hike took us along Flint Creek, where the "trail" was mostly in the creek and under or over fallen trees.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:25 PM   #5
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The seeps along the creek were full of this common small green wood orchid, appropriately named Small Green Wood Orchid (Platanthera clavellata)!
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:26 PM   #6
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Here's a typical view of the dense green forest near Flint Creek.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:27 PM   #7
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We joined up with the Appalachian Trail near Coldspring Mountain. The AT forms part of the western edge of Rocky Fork. One unique feature along this stretch of trail are a few lonely Civil War graves.

PS - Here's a link to a blog post about this - not anyone I know, but looks pretty accurate: http://walkingnorth.wordpress.com/20...lton-brothers/
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:28 PM   #8
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On up the trail is a spot called "Big Butt" (!!!) and an amazing high elevation rocky bald called "The Ball Ground." The Turk's Cap Lilies here were just in bud, but the Wild Bergamot and Phlox were in full bloom.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:29 PM   #9
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We continued on to Buzzard Rock, one of the few spots in Rocky Fork were you can see the lay of the land.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 9:30 PM   #10
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You can also enjoy some ripe blueberries here in the higher country...
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