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Field Trip: Carver’s Gap to Grassy Ridge on the Roan Highlands, TN/NC

June 8 @ 7:30 am - 12:30 pm

TNPS Conference registration is required to attend this field trip!

Description: We will start at the Carver’s Gap parking lot and proceed on the trail through spruce-fir forests for about 0.6 mile to Round Ball with its grassy landscape and excellent 360 degree views of surrounding peaks. Round Bald crests at 5826’. From there we will continue via the Appalachian Trail north across Engine Gap to Jane Bald at 6129’. The panoramic views continue to get better as we trek on a spur trail to our destination, Grassy Ridge Bald, at elevation 6139’. Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge is different from other hikes on Roan Mountain in that it is mostly along and through the Balds, with plenty of great views. Depending on the progression of the season, we should see some of the best displays of Catawba Rhododendron. Red Spruce, Fraser Fir and Mountain Ash trees will be seen. We should also see mountain myrtle (Kalmia buxifolia) near the summit and numerous other wildflowers along the way.

Meeting Place/Time: It will begin at 7:30 am at the pool parking lot at Roan Mountain State Park where we will gather in carpools and travel approximately 11 miles south on TN State Road 143 to Carvers Gap, elevation 5512’. Note that parking fills up quickly at Carvers Gap in season, hence the early start time.

Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous: The trail does get a bit steep at times (after leaving Round Bald), but since this is an in-and-out hike, one could turn back at any point necessary. Some sections of the trail are rocky, so sturdy shoes and a hiking pole are recommended. A light jacket and sunscreen may be desirable. Total hiking distance round trip will be about 4.8 miles. Trip time will be 3 to 4 hours.

Facilities: A compost restroom is available at Carver’s Gap Parking Lot

Lunch: Please bring plenty of water and snacks as needed for a 3 to 4 hour hike.

Leader: Marty Silver, a Park Ranger with Warriors’ Path State Park.


June 8
7:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category: