Monday, January 30, 2012

Hiking Rainbow Road Trail, Montreat

Trail head

It was a warm day hovering in the low 60's - great and unusual for January so my husband and I took off for a easy 50 minute hike in Montreat.  Or so we thought! The town is home to Montreat College and they have many trails available to the public on their grounds.  We headed up Lookout Road and found the parking lot on the right.  This trail began off the lower parking lot - Lookout Trail which is longer and termed strenuous begins from the upper lot.

Rainbow Road



The Rainbow Road Trail is marked well with red diamonds on trees.  We hike often and enjoy being outdoors but had not hiked much in the past few months. We headed up on a a easy grade walking through rhododendrons on the north facing slopes.  We were a bit suspicious since we were going up in elevation.  After walking 30 minutes, my husband suggested heading back down the way we came.  Since the hike was supposed to take 50 minutes I figured we were more than half way done so I voted to keep going....the trail kept getting narrower and steeper.  By now it had begun to cool off and rain lightly.  I had my camera tucked in my fleece jacket for protection.



Lots of fallen trees over the trail


The view as we went higher.

We met a couple on mountain bikes and they had stopped to ponder which way to go down. I guess she wanted a gradual incline.  They suggested a trail down for us that was the more gradual of the two choices.  I guess they went the other way since we never met up with them.  The trail was still ascending but it at least looked like we were going back in the direction we came from.  We reached yet another intersection of trails , completely at a loss as to which one to take even after looking at the map.  We chose one and after walking it a bit  looked around  - both of us realized we had been there before!  By now we were tired, hungry, getting wet and 50 minutes had long since passed.

Our rescuers


Looking up the above the trail.

Thankfully a young couple with two dogs were coming up the trail so we asked them for our bearings.  Turns out we had taken the wrong turn and were going back down the way we came up - another hour out of our way.  They told us to follow them and they would show us the way.  We hated to hold them up.  My husband's knee was bothering him so it was slow walking back up even with his walking stick. This sweet couple walked slowly and kept checking on us as we followed them.  When we go to the next trail intersection, they had waited for us to make sure we took the correct turn.  They even went a little bit on this trail to point us off to another left turn.  Bless them or we would still b there going around in circles!

Finally heading back down!

I have found that the young people in the mountains are very respectful of their elders and this certainly proves my case.  They went well out of their way to make sure we found our way out.  The rain began in earnest again and we had a steep descent but not too difficult. I was never so glad to see the car.  And this was marked an easy trail! Next time we will stick to the under 30 minute easy hikes until we know them well ourselves.

The end is near.

9 comments:

Island Rambles Blog said...

ssounds like it was an adventure for sure...you got some good photos...but glad you got back to the car!

Arija said...

Oh my, what an adventure. Glad you finally found your way back.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - but if you stick to the 30 minute hikes you will never have nay adventures and have to be rescued!!

Nice post.

Stewart M - Australia

eileeninmd said...

The mountains and trails look lovely and I am glad someone was thee to help point out the way. It could have really been scary to be lost in the woods. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! Oh I wish I could have gone with you! :-) This looks like a really really wonderful trail! But I'd be as lost too cos I cannot read maps to save me, so yay for that wonderful couple with their doggies!!

Glad you both returned ok! It really does look like a lovely walk! Thanks for sharing these pics!

Take care
x

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

It was lucky you met that nice young couple. xx

Odie Langley said...

I had that experience once in TN when we decided to take a trail that I thought was short and later found out it was a 5 hour trail and we had sandles on and no water. We did give up in time to make it back down before doing our bodies any damage. We live and learn.

jewaicious said...

What lovely captures of nature and hiking.

Bill said...

Hello! I'm so glad you enjoyed the trail, and I'm also glad that you did indeed get turned in the right direction. I'm the director for the wilderness program of Montreat Conference Center, and myself and my staff are responsible for maintaining the trails, leading public hikes and (dare I say it) assisting with search and rescue operations. I'd love for you to come back this summer when my staff and I are there and go on a guided hike with our group. We lead both half-day and whole-day hikes every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 AM. Meet at the Montreat Nature Center. It's the very best way to learn the trails.
Sincerely, Bill Sanderson

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