Piazza Rock 2021

On July 3rd, we agreed to meet our friend at the parking area for Piazza Rock and the AT trail. After all, since we were that close to the Appalachian Trail, wasn’t it required that we at least set one foot on it? The tricky part in the beginning was keeping an eye out for the “hiker’s crossing” sign just as we came around a curve, signaling the entrance to the almost invisible entrance to the parking area. (Oh yeah, and watch out for logging trucks that come around that curve at some clip.)

It was another damp, cool day but we were ready for our adventure. From the parking area, we crossed the road and began our hike on the Appalachian Trail. The beginning of the path headed downhill. This is something I really didn’t appreciate during our exploration, since it means at the end of the journey when I would be tired, I would have to travel uphill. There was just something so wrong with that!

In a very short time we reached a small metal bridge that crossed over a gorge. After crossing over the stream, the trail made a steep ascent for maybe half a mile before leveling out. During drier times, this section of our travels would have been easy but there was a rather long distance of walking along wet bog boards. Not being the most physically stable person to traverse a balance beam, this slowed me down quite a bit while I tried to walk as flat footed as I could in order to not slip.

About a mile from the trail head, we crossed a dirt road, continuing on the AT trail for about another mile where my friend signed us in at the AT sign-in kiosk. Immediately after the kiosk, we had to navigate across a slightly wide stream (in other words it was not a quick hop across the water). Safely on the other side we continued our journey towards Piazza Rock.

It wasn’t long before the trail split in almost 3 directions. To our right was the continuation of the Appalachian Trail. Straight ahead but slightly to the left was a trail that went to some caves and finally, more towards the right was the path towards Piazza Rock.

Before making our ascent towards our destination, we decided to have lunch under the protection of the lean-to nearby. While we rested I took some time to admire a cluster of mushrooms growing on the top of a nearby stump. Once we were sufficiently nourished we were ready to reach our destination. This last little bit was quite a scramble up a steep, rocky incline but with expert advice from my buddies I made it towards the rock.

I pointed out to my husband the blue blaze tucked underneath this structure that would take a hiker to the top of the rock. I had attempted but failed when I was last here with my friend since I could not figure out how to contort my body to maneuver through the narrow space. I was glad to see that my husband could not get up to the top either, although he claimed it was because of the wet rock.

After exploring the area around Piazza Rock for a bit, we made our way back towards the trailhead. As predicted that last uphill stretch was difficult and I stopped to study some flowering Partridgeberries and One-sided Shinleaf plants before continuing to the end of our journey.


4 thoughts on “Piazza Rock 2021

  1. Wonderful read! I’m a big fan of all things AT. I’m currently doing a virtual power walk of the trail via a walking app. I’m currently at the 945 mile mark. A fellow from my home town completed the actual trail over 3 summers, and a woman I met in Texas did the through hike in five months. Bill Bryson’s book, “A Walk in the Woods” is a fun account of his adventures on the trail. I just recently watched a hilarious movie (same title as the book) about Bryson’s hike. Another book is “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk”, which is an incredibly inspiring book about the woman who is said to have. saved the Appalachian Trail. I hope to someday do a mile or two on the actual trail. I’m happy you got to hike a bit of it!

    • Thanks!. I read both of those books. In fact I recommended Grandma Gatewood’s Walk for my book club discussion. She was one impressive lady.

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