Last week, myself and a few friends went for a 4-mile hike at Little Long Mountain. We started at the Joe Moffitt Trailhead on Thayer Road and climbed up Little Long Mountain. It’s about a mile to the top, and even though rain was forecasted we were determined to get out. Rain has stopped us several times in recent weeks. We did not get rained on, though we were sort of in a misty cloud most of the morning.
The hike up Little Long Mountain is on a section of trail that I helped build. The Uwharrie Trailblazers started when Three Rivers Land Trust (then The LandTrust for Central North Carolina) purchased the Little Long Mountain Property and decided to build a mile of trail on the site, to reclaim this section of the Uwharrie Trail. In sections south and north of here, you could find old blazes on trees and just reblaze the trail, but here the timber had been cut so it was a lot of young thick forest.
We hired a group out of Asheville to come down and lay the trail out, and you can certainly tell it was professionally laid out. We got an Adopt-a-trail grant from the state to help pay for the trail’s planning and construction. Most of the trail construction was done by volunteers though with tools we borrowed from the Uwharrie National Forest. The trailblazers started having workdays every second Saturday of the month, and that continues to this day on various sections of trail in the Uwharries.
But back to our hike. We climbed Little Long Mountain and because of the cloud/mist, there were no views to be seen. Usually there’s a panoramic view from the top of the surrounding Uwharrie Mountains. But we didn’t mind, it was pretty neat being in a cloud. We stopped for a few minutes to catch our breath in the trail shelter located on top of the mountain. This was an eagle scout project also while Three Rivers Land Trust still owned the property. We then hiked down the back side of Little Long Mountain.
The trail was not too muddy, but there were a few wet spots so you had to watch your footing here and there. The trail pretty quickly descends down to Poison Fork Creek. Poison Fork is an absolutely gorgeous stream and has pretty little cascades and rock outcrops on its banks. It is an outstanding resource water, which is the highest water quality designation the State of North Carolina provides for streams. Much of it located is on USFS land. I’ve heard that the “Poisson” is French for fish, but I don’t know if that’s accurate or why the stream is named that.
We walked along Poison Fork for a ways until we got to the spot where the trail has to cross the stream – this is where we turned around. It’s hard to get across here without getting your feet wet. It might be a good place for a future bridge to be constructed, but it’s not a short hike from either direction to get there. There is an old road that parallels the stream though so it might be possible to get materials in that way, but all of that would require USFS approval. It would make a good Eagle Scout project though if someone were interested.
We then hiked back the way we came, up over Little Long Mountain again and then back down it to our cars. It was a nice hike and so nice to get out after the rain had prevented us from hiking several times. I enjoy hiking that stretch of trail since I helped protect it and build it, it will always be a special spot to me. I also appreciate knowing that know everyone else gets to enjoy it too.