Archived Outdoors

The trail from spring to winter

out trailartieBright sunshine? Sixty-degree weather? In February?

There was no question that I would be hitting the trail Sunday afternoon, and from the trailhead at Pinnacle Park in Sylva, nothing felt better than setting off uphill in shorts and a T-shirt, making tracks over the dried leaves covering the trail. 

As the trail climbed — the Pinnacle sits more than 2,000 feet above the parking lot — things changed. First, the path got mushy, deep mud the result of newly melted snow. And further up, especially in pockets tucked away from the sun, the snow hadn’t melted at all. White stuff carpeted the ground beneath rhododendron thickets, a reminder that winter is still alive and well. I pulled some extra layers from my pack. 

But the top of the Pinnacle? Well, that was just a piece of sunny bliss. 

— By Holly Kays, outdoors editor

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.