North Carolina county #86 Carver's Gap - Pisgah National Forest
My next stop was supposed to be Rhodendran Gardens in Pisgah National Forest, but for some reason the road was closed right at a spot called Carver’s Gap. By this time I was well into the mountains and Carver’s Gap is at 5,512 feet elevation. I hiked a trail that went up one of the mountains next to the gap.
The Tennessee border was very close but I was pretty sure I was staying on the North Carolina side, to ensure I got Mitchell County completed. As it turned out though, the trail did spend some time on the Tennessee side, and the woods next to the parking lot where I spent twenty minutes was also on the Tennessee side. So unfortunately my best bird did not count for Mitchell County – a Blue-headed Vireo.
I did get to see a group of Pine Siskins, which were my first of the year. I was glad to get them as there were not many birds around. I also saw some Dark-eyed Juncos and a Common Raven calling as it flew down the mountain.
There were a lot of people around, mostly to see the fall foliage. Unfortunately, it was not as colorful as it could have been, but the views were still nice.
It seemed that many trees lost their leaves quickly this year, and the color did not stay around very long. I wasn’t originally planning to walk all the way to the top of the trail, but I ended up doing so because it was a nice day out and it was fun to be out there. When I was near the top, I tried taking one of those panorama photos with my phone.
I think that is Roan Mountain across the gap. In any case, this is a really nice place to stop and do a short hike. I stayed for about two and a half hours and walked about two miles. However, it was not the best birding. It could have just been an unlucky day though.
ebird checklist - Tennessee