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Old Nov 2, 2016, 9:59 PM   #1
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Default Hike to Buzzard Rock

Recently had the opportunity to lead a little 17 mile loop hike at Rocky Fork. Goal was to experience a taste of the amazing diversity of this 10,000 acre wilderness area. We began in the low country, along the lush, leafy streams.
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:00 PM   #2
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We roamed through rich forests, yellow with birches…
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:00 PM   #3
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...and yellow with Witch Hazel's odd blooms. These shrubs often bloom on into the early winter!
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:01 PM   #4
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The first 10 miles of this loop hike is a good steady climb. Witch Hobble bushes thrive a bit higher and drier in the land.
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:02 PM   #5
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You can see where Doll's Eyes gets its name! These berries are quite toxic to us, but not to many wild creatures.
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:03 PM   #6
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Puffballs were ripe and "puffing" at many decaying logs. (Can you see the slug slime trails on some of these?)
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:04 PM   #7
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And various salamander species were abundant under those logs.
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:04 PM   #8
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Our hike took us to a recently relocated section of the Appalachian Trail. Thanks to the acquisition of Rocky Fork as public land, the Trail could be moved away from an old rutted road, and into the lush wild places.
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:05 PM   #9
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We were surprised to see some Gentians still blooming. Can you spot the little "friend" on this one?
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Old Nov 2, 2016, 10:06 PM   #10
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After almost 9 miles, we began to get some glimpses of Buzzard Rock in the distance.
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