Tim Schaefer reporting October 17th 2015
A day prior, we decided to do a last minute change up. Based on prior reports of the fire tower being popular for fall hikers we decided to look for a road less traveled. We settled on Rogers Ridge Horse Trail. See the wiki page or this month’s Feature of the Month for technical trail details, but it turned out to be a fantastic day of hiking. With our few side trips, the GPS logged us for a 15.5 mile day of hiking. It was also a very solitary hike. On a weekend when many should have been heading out to bald vistas like this, we saw absolutely no one except for a couple in a truck near the Tri-State Corner Knob of TN-VA-NC. Although we had decent glimpses of the surrounding ridges, we were truly rewarded at 5.33 miles when we entered the first bald clearing. We took a side trip to the left for some early views before resuming the ridge hike to the right. A vandalized cabin on the bald ridge peak of Stone Mountain, provided many topics of conversation. We completed the outbound hike with a view of the prior mentioned Tri-State Corner Knob. Some maps suggested that we could have returned by way of the doing Gentry Creek Falls in the reverse, but how was not clear. After hiking 8+mi at that point, we didn’t want to inadvertently add a few more by taking a wrong turn to only have to turn back. Overall the trail was fairly well marked for the specified trail, but none of the many well used connections were marked. Also, despite many signs at the trail head saying differently, the trail is obviously used routinely by Off-Road Vehicle riders. Joining me on this hike was Charlie Outlaw.