Homestead, Pinetree, & Explorer Trails

Posted By on November 6, 2020

Homestead, Pinetree, & Explorer Trails

7.7 miles; 595 feet ascent; Asheville, NC

Really beginning to love this trail complex, despite the mad number of mountain bikers who also use it. The second half of the Explorer Loop Trail, which I hiked clockwise, was one of the best walks in the woods I think I’ve ever had. Gorgeous. Soothing. Serene. You just have to keep one ear open for mountain bikers.

Dam from the Other Side

Yeah, once again back to Lake Powhatan. This is the view of the dam I missed the other day. They’ve got it pretty definitively fenced off, though, so this was the best shot I could get.

Always Read the Plaques

I subscribe to the motto of the 99% Invisible podcast “Always Read the Plaques.” But this time, although I read and followed the directions, I didn’t see a sign or an old homestead. I think this was a red herring. And by the way, wtf is the “red herring” thing? According to Wikipedia,

The term was popularized in 1807 by English polemicist William Cobbett, who told a story of having used a strong-smelling smoked fish to divert and distract hounds from chasing a rabbit.

This does not clarify things for me. Why is “red” used to describe a stinky fish? Moar information please!

Delightful Little Waterfall

I pass by many waterfalls all the time, both large and small. I’m hiking in the mountains, duh. But there was something about this little cascade that really caught my eye. It was visible through a break in the foliage off the trail, and I dunno, I just loved it. Could have had something to do with the fact that the part of the trail I was hiking was also so pleasant. The path was covered with pine needles, and crowded on either side with rhododendron and mountain laurel, and was ever so gently descending… Like I said above, it was probably the sweetest walk in the woods I’ve ever taken. If you don’t hike anyplace else in Pisgah, you gotta do the Explorer Loop trail.

You can find out more about this hike from this excellent US Forest Service map (pdf file). As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.


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