The Place: Little Bald Mountain, up Viking Mountain Road in Greene County.
The Hike: Appalachian Spur trail to the A.T., then another spur trail to the cliff.
This was a fun little hike that I had wanted to do for a while. I had seen the pictures from Blackstack Cliff and it was immediate I must go there, forget my fear of heights. (Yes, I realize this is a terrible fear to have as a hiker.)
This hike is deceptively easy to start. After parking at Jones Meadow, you’ll take the blue-blazed spur trail from the parking lot into the woods. After about 0.2 miles, you reach a small clearing with multiple trails. I can’t stress this enough – walk straight through.
You continue following the blue blazes until you spot white blazes – the Appalachian Trail. You’ll head left (northbound). Keep an eye out to your left as you go. About a quarter-mile from where you turned onto the A.T., you’ll see a small brown sign nailed high-ish on a tree to designate the path to the cliffs.
You will feel like you’re bushwhacking through Amazonian jungles but in reality, it’s just dense rhododendron. If you are interested in fungi, I spotted several different types of mushrooms. Don’t ask me what kind – the only ones I can identify are the horse-hoof looking ones on trees.
If you look up this hike online, you may see something about going down some large “stairs.” “Stairs” is a gross overstatement. What you really do is clamor down a boulder with some vaguely step-like niches on the side of it. No stair rails, but that’s where the rhododendrons come in handy.
From the boulder, it’s just a few more steps to the cliff.
What. A. View. It is literally breathtaking. I’ll let my photos say the rest.
Quick tips: bring water. Bring snacks. Sit on the cliffs for a bit and just meditate on the meaning of life and the stunning area that is around us. But don’t forget the sunscreen if you’re going to sit on the edge. I guarantee you will get sunburnt.