Found a great four star hike the other day called Basin Creek Trail. It is part of Daughton Park on the BRP. Basin Creek Trail is at the bottom entrance to Daughton Park( which is not) on the BRP. Instead if one comes North or South I -77 you will want to get on 21 bypass towards Sparta. Stay on 21 until you see a sign for Stone Mt. State Park, right past the sign you will make a left onto Traphill Road. Go about 2.2 miles you will go over a bridge, immediately after the bridge turn left into a parking area. Across the road is the Daughton Park lower entrance. This is the Grassy Gap Fire Road.
You will have a nice wide trail that follows Basin Creek.Very shortly after being on Grassy Gap Fire Road you will pass an old dam. As you walk further on amongst the old pines, ( I mean old these trees are for me the largest pines I have seen in this area of NC.) eventually you will pass the backwoods camping area on your left this is about 1.5 miles in on the fire road. Then you will come upon a fork where the road splits go right (follow the signs here) to Basin Creek Trail. The next 3.3 miles of your day will be spectacular!
The trail winds up and down (mostly up) along the wide creek with huge stones & trees in the middle of it. A little over 2 miles and you will come to a large waterfall. There are smaller falls along the way. The moss and flora are beautiful.
As you wander your way toward your destination which is Caudill Cabin (around 100 yrs old) think about the fact that a family lived and prospered here. It was amazing to me to think that 100 years ago in this remote place families were living and surviving in small one or two room cabins with (as my friend says) 10 to over 20 " head of youngin'." Can you imagine living in this remote place now with just two of them?
On the trail there are many stream crossings most your get your ankles wet if you are not an agile jumper (I'm not). There are various chimneys left from past cabins long since gone. The final ascent is a little steep as you break into a clearing and there sits Caudill Cabin. The panorama is amazing with views of Wild Cat Rocks & Fodder Stacks above. Inside the cabin is a guest book if you wish to sign. It also has information on the Caudill's family tree. When you step into the cabin think that I believe the book said 10 of 14 children were delivered in this cabin. That means 16 people lived in this cabin. Whew! The book also speaks to the fact that the cabin was restored in 2001 (they did an excellent job) and that in 1916 there was a great flood that wiped out the Basin Creek community and that this cabin is as far as they know the only structure that survived the flood.
As I said this is an excellent moderate hike for hikers who don't mind some uphill. For those who like the flat land it might be considered strenuous. There are several other trails from this entrance and one right down the road. I can't wait to explore these I think there are a total of five,( Basin Creek, Bluff Ridge, Grassy Gap, Cedar Ridge and Flat Rock Ridge.) I have been going to Stone Mt. for a couple of years now and never knew this trail was 10-15 minute drive past it.Take a look at my Tom's blog, http://tomwise1.wordpress.com/ for delicious photos of this hike & the MST Trail. His website www.tomwisephotos.com has amazing photography of many of our hikes.
Thanks for looking in on me if you have any questions just leave me a comment & I'll get back to you. ~ All who wander are not lost........But those of us who are have more fun!