I was camping with friends and family members this past weekend at Jordan Price Lake near Blowing Rock when I had a chance to relive the past. While everyone else was taking breaks or just goofing off, I decided to take the 5 mile hike near the campground. The Boone Fork Trail is a easy trail that follows along the Boone Fork Creek and has a couple of miles of the Mountains to the Sea Trail that runs concurrently with it. The first mile or so, you get the creek at your side, with breezes that make you smile. But then the canopy closes over you, made up of mostly rhododendron and hard wood trees. Here the trial starts to be more difficult, roots and running water are all around. You take your time walking and stepping around the roots and the muddy water areas. As you walk through along the trail, your mind wanders to any number of things, mostly good, mostly happy thoughts. Hiking tends to get you out of the structure of your life and makes you live the moment. As you walk along, you continue to see glimpses of the stream and even get to detour down to it a couple of times to cool off. The trail continues to jump the various feeder streams where you need to be careful unless you want to get wet. A couple of miles into the trek, you get to the base of Hebron Falls. The falls are not your traditional falls that has a long water drop but more a group of large rocks that the water winds itself through. Fast, short jets of water leading to large pools, swimming is optional. At this point, you are sweating and getting a good burn just from the humidity under the canopy.
The trail begins to increase in elevation for a half mile or so as it winds its way through the river area, finally getting out near the top of the next short hill that leads you back to your car.
The hike ends at the beginning after you go through part of the campground. I was carrying a 25 pound pack since I am getting in shape to tackle part of the AT this fall. I was sweating pretty good but not at all winded. And as I got back to the rest of my fellow travelers, I could be be happy that I got the experience and sad that it had to end. See you on the next trail.
Watch your six,