Wayah Bald

Wayah Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Wayah Bald, Nantahala National Forest

We’ve been getting rain almost every day for the last few weeks so when the precipitation probability dipped below 50% for a few hours on Sunday, we loaded cameras, dog, snacks and drinks into the truck and took a drive into the Nantahala National Forest.

There’s a pretty good park road that goes up to two balds which are close together and separated by a high saddle, Wayah Bald and Winespring Bald. A bald is a peak in the Appalachians which has no trees. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, we have no alpine timberline – the elevations aren’t high enough, so the lack of trees is something of a mystery. At the top of Wayah Bald, a stone observation tower was built in the 1930s for forest fire detection and, although it is no longer used for that purpose, it is still maintained for tourists and hikers. Ordinarily, the views are spectacular, but with so much recent rain, clouds and fog obscured the distance.

Foggy path leading to the Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

Foggy path leading to the Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

Wayah Bald observation tower, Nantahala National Forest

On the way back down, we decided to have a look at Winespring Bald. The road leading to it was well-maintained, but the view at the top is somewhat spoiled by a proliferation of antennae.

Park road to Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Park road to Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

There is, however, a pretty good reason to return later in the summer:

Blueberries on Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Blueberries on Winespring Bald, Nantahala National Forest

In addition to the antennae, the Bald is home to a lot of blueberry bushes. I will have to look up the regulations regarding berry-picking in National Forests….

The Appalachian Trail crossing the road near the top of Wayah Bald, Nantahala National Forest

The Appalachian Trail crossing the road near the top of Wayah Bald, Nantahala National Forest

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10 Comments

Filed under Nature

10 responses to “Wayah Bald

  1. Your photos are simply beautiful!
    They make me feel happy and all that green smells so good….!

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  2. what wonderful photos Ann! I love the misty path best and the steps – and the macro of blueberries!! 🙂

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  3. The roads winding through the woods look so inviting…

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    • Ann

      They are! Many times we don’t ever get where we are going because we follow too many inviting roads and then the day is over….

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  4. pick those bloobeareez @ nite w/a headlamp!

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    • Ann

      I think that might entail a long, uphill walk. The park road up to the bald is closed to traffic at night. I might make a hundred yards before collapsing. The only part of me in any kind of decent physical condition is my mouse-clicking, page-turning finger.

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