Roan Highlands by Kristen

Posted on 2020-03-17

I woke up for my first day of spring break hiking (and social isolation) adventure to a morning full of fog, drizzle, and 50 degree temps. I decided to head to the Roan Highlands anyway and crossed my fingers that the clouds would clear long enough for a nice view or two. I settled on an ~11 mile round trip hike from Carver's Gap to the Overmountain Shelter on the Appalachian Trail. Detailed information about the path of the hike can be found [here.]( ![blogPics](/static/img/157/sign.jpg "Carver's Gap Trail Head") There was a super convenient parking area located just across the street from the trail head. I parked, crossed the road and started off on the AT. The trail quickly entered into a forest that reminded me of a storybook. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/trail.jpg "Carver's Gap Woods") After exiting the woods, the trail rolled over multiple summits, Jane Bald, Grassy Ridge Bald, etc. Unfortunately, due to the foggy weather there wasn't much to see. This was the best photo I got on the way up: ![blogPics](/static/img/157/fullfog.jpg "Way up") Although prior research indicated that typically these balds offer breathtaking views of the blue ridge mountains. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/summit.jpg "Foggy View") The clouds cleared just long enough to give a clear view of the path ahead. If you look closely you can see the path carving into the next peak. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/halffog.jpg "Path Ahead") The next few miles of the trail descended steeply down a bunch of switchbacks. I tried to keep myself from constantly thinking "I gottta climb back up all of this". Finally around mile 5.3 I came to a last trail intersection that pointed toward Overmountain Shelter. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/endtrail.jpg "Overmountain Shelter") The last .2 of the trail was pretty easy going and led to a large clearing on top of a ridge. There were a few people up there camping out and at the end of the road was the old shelter. It was roped off with caution tape and signs indicated that it had been out of use for a while and advised against going inside. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/barn.jpg "Overmountain Shelter") After checking out the shelter I hung about for a few more minutes on the ridge. I was lucky enough to have the clouds clear just long enough to have a little bit of a view. ![blogPics](/static/img/157/main.jpg "View from Overmountain Shelter") All in all it was a great hike. I enjoyed knocking out another small piece of the AT. And I can only imagine how incredible the views would be on a clearer day!

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