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WELCOME

Hello and thanks for visiting BootsontheTrail.com. My name is Lee but on the trail, on YouTube, and sometimes even at work I am known as Boots. I love my family, I love the outdoors, and I love hiking and exploring. This site is just a way to share some of my adventures, hiking related content, and to connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Be sure to check out the Hike for Healing page and visit the webstore while you are here to purchase merch and support a great cause!

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The Mitchell Vertical Mile!
16:32
Boots on the Trail

The Mitchell Vertical Mile!

Join me as I do what hasn't been done before - The Mitchell Vertical Mile! In reality, I am certain someone has done a version of this at some point, just not on record. There are plenty of routes that one can gain over a mile of cumulative elevation when summiting the highest peak in the Eastern US, but people have struggled to find a viable route that would meet the qualification for a true vertical mile gain (net gain) by hiking/running to the summit. The net gain qualification aligns with other vertical mile challenges (e.g. The LeConte Vertical Mile in the Smokies). With this thought, the following rules/criteria are in place for the Mitchell Vertical Mile: start anywhere at or below the confluence of Curtis Creek and Hwy 70/E Main St in Old Fort, North Carolina (or at any point along the Catawba River from Lackey Town Road East) to ensure you start below the required 1404' and gain a net vertical mile (5,280') to the summit of Mt. Mitchell at 6684' by any route of your choosing. Stop your tracking device once you reach the elevation marker on top of the tower. My journey began on 4/6/24 in Old Fort, North Carolina at Curtis Creek and Hwy 70, giving me at starting elevation of 1398'. I left the bridge at 8:00a, continued up to Curtis Creek Road, then took that 5 miles up to Cutis Creek Campground. At this point I turned onto Snooks Nose Trail and began the steep climb up. The views from Snooks Nose were incredible! It was an ultra-clear day and I had no complaints! I grabbed a quick snack while enjoying the views then continued up to Laurel Knob and eventually the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail comes out at the Green Knob Overlook - another spectacular view - then continues a short bit down the parkway to the Green Knob Trail. The Green Knob Trail climbs very steeply up to the summit and the fire tower (only open periodically), then takes a steep descent for 3 miles down to the Black Mountain Campground. When I say steep, I mean steep! I had seen snow all along the way thus far but the summit of Green Knob was the first ice I had seen; it would not be the last. I took about a 10 minute break at Black Mountain Campground before beginning the biggest climb of the day up the Mt Mitchell Trail. I made the steep familiar climb up and when I got to about 5,000' with about 2.5 miles to go, the snow started appearing again and soon turned into a real winter wonderland! This would have been more enjoyable if not for the ice though. Ice on the trail, with steep drop offs made for a slow goโ€ฆ especially the last mile. I felt like would never reach the top. I finally saw sunlight and knew I was about to pop onto the summit trail, this indeed gave me more energy and a bit more pep in my step which carried over once I reached the paved path. A few people indeed looked at me like I was a bit crazy (we all know that it true) as I was running up such a steep incline. I finally reached the summit! I stepped onto the summit marker then joyously took off my pack to take in all of the views. I again got crazy looks as I was literally just in running shorts and a t-shirt while all of the others there were in heavy winter coats, hats, and gloves. The gate into the state park was locked when I had driven up to stage my car the day prior, intending to leave it at the bottom of the summit trail. A ranger told me that the road was closed due to snow and ice, so I had to leave my car at the adjacent overlook on the parkway, adding another 5 miles at the end of my journey. It pays to be nice to people - by chatting with the ranger the day prior, she recognized me as I greeted her and another park employee on my way down. She knew I had left my car at the gate. Once I got to the bottom of the trail, the park employee (Nat Wiseman) offered to give me a ride all the way back to my car - What a relief! He not only gave me a ride but took me on a mini tour along the way by the employee barracks, etc. What a nice bonus! A beautiful day, a long day, and a journey I will remember forever (especially since we set an official FKT)! ___________________________________________________________________ ๐Ÿ‘ฃ Trail Stats Trails Hiked: Hwy 70, Curtis Creek Rd, Snooks Nose Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Green Knob Trail, Mt. Mitchell Trail (MST) Total Distance Hiked: 19.1 Miles Total Elevation Gain: 7667 Total Time: 7:54:09 ___________________________________________________________________ Don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for more exciting outdoor adventures! #BootsontheTrail #MtMitchell #VerticalMile #NorthCarolina #PisgahNationalForest #PisgahForest #MountMitchell #Challenge #Hiking #HikingChallenge #HikingAdventures #HikeNC #NorthCarolinaMountains -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ๐ŸŒ https://www.bootsonthetrail.com ๐ŸŸง https://www.instagram.com/bootsonthetrail/ ๐Ÿ“˜ https://www.facebook.com/BootsontheTrail ๐Ÿ“ง Email: lee@bootsonthetrail.com
Hiking Rocky Face Mountain - A Lovely Park Tucked Away in Small Town North Carolina
06:43
Boots on the Trail

Hiking Rocky Face Mountain - A Lovely Park Tucked Away in Small Town North Carolina

Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area is located in the small town of Hiddenite, North Carolina. I had heard of the park, specifically that they had a vertical mile challenge and race there, but had never visited. I went on almost a whim as I had a very long and challenging hike the day prior but still wanted to get out and hike some more, so I took this as my opportunity to visit as it isn't very far from my house. The park is steeped in history but today, hiking and rock climbing are at the forefront of activity. The park is the southern edge of the Brushy Mountains and opened to the public in 2012. This is an excellent park for families as well. In the early 1900's the Rocky Face was a quarry site that operated until the 1940's. The quarry area is now used for rock climbing (permit required). Outside of the quarry area, the park has about 5 miles of hiking trails that enables hikers to explore the top of the cliffs and up to the mountain peak where there are several view points of the surrounding area (including a view of Grandfather Mountain on clear days). ___________________________________________________________________ ๐Ÿ‘ฃ Trail Stats Trails Hiked: Prison Camp Trail, Hollow Rock Trail, Vertical Mile Challenge Trail, Grindstone Trail Total Distance Hiked: 4.1 Miles Total Elevation Gain: 712' Total Time: 1:15 ___________________________________________________________________ Don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for more exciting outdoor adventures! #BootsontheTrail #RockyFace #RockyFaceMountain #RockyFaceMountainRecreationalArea #FamilyHike -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ๐ŸŒ https://www.bootsonthetrail.com ๐ŸŸง https://www.instagram.com/bootsonthetrail/ ๐Ÿ“˜ https://www.facebook.com/BootsontheTrail ๐Ÿ“ง Email: lee@bootsonthetrail.com
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