Built on Top

May 27, 2008

Another variation on the balds - Wayah Bald is another heath bald, with the added feature of a stone tower. The CCC built it during the Depression, twice as tall as it is now - the top story began to crack so it was removed and a new roof put on in the 1940s. From here the Smokies are sometimes visible, 30 miles away. I used the access road for a great 4-mile downhill bike ride and then hiked back up. When I got to the top it was raining and a rainbow hung over the valley to the east.

Albert Mountain has a fire lookout tower, no longer used but preserved. Its view looks over the headwaters of the Little Tennessee River, just starting the trip north to the Mississippi. You can see a white AT blaze painted on the rock up ahead. I stopped for lunch on these rocks but pretty soon I was scared off by a loud thunder clap from the other side of the ridge.

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