Our first Mellow Expeditions feature from outside of the UK comes from @treesandnylon . He talks us through one of his favourite hikes located in North Carolina. Here’s what he had to say about the trail.
This is my #1 hike the Smoky Mountains, Hemphill Bald. I first found it back in 2018 but these pics are from a trip in 2021 I took with some of my buds. Honestly if you're looking for a hike, this one offers up some great views and is much less trafficked than other popular ones. The trek up begins at the bottom of the mountain, you pass over a few streams until eventually the switchbacks start.
This is about the point when the group split off into the stragglers and the real outdoorsman. Of course yours truly, owner of a gorpcore account on instagram, couldn't be caught in the stragglers so I pushed on with the first crew. I mean, what would the tabloids say if I didn't. After some switchbacks in the mountain, the trail gives you some rewards, first showing you a nice little view off in the distance through the trees, then a field of wildflowers. It honestly looks like something out of a fairy tale with the flowers lining the ground and the canopy high above you letting sunlight sift through the leaves every once in a while.
You know you're almost at the top once you start seeing the cows laying under the trees by the fences. The views really are immaculate. A little slice of what I imagine some of the British views to be like with rolling grassy hills at the summit. There's also (not pictures) a little oak tree that protects you from the sun while you eat at the stone table which me and the boys eagerly did. This hike hasn’t let me down yet and as long as they don't build a skyscraper in the valley, I don't think it ever will.