Walking to Cantrell Creek Lodge

Cantrell Creek Lodge at Cradle of ForestryAfter a major snow storm (OK, major for Asheville), it warmed up and I went to scout my hike along South Mills River Trail to the site of Cantrell Creek Lodge. It warmed up so much that by the afternoon, my two companions and I were in shirt sleeves.

Scouting? The trail in the Pisgah District along South Mills River is a broad, obvious trail so what is there to check out? I’m leading this hike next Wednesday for the Carolina Mountain Club and all leaders are supposed to scout their hike. Trails change from week to week. You never know if a river might be overflowing or a tree blocking the trail. A bridge might have fallen into the stream.

The trail has several bridges: a large one at the beginning, two new bridges, new since the 2004 hurricanes, and a small, split log across a tributary. The handrail on that last one is now down. I didn’t feel comfortable crossing it “naked” so I rock hopped across the small creek. But I’m glad I knew about it.

The end of the hike takes you to a chimney for the old Cantrell Creek Lodge. The actual lodge, pictured above, was moved to the Cradle of Forestry because it had been vandalized.

On the way back, we took Pounding Mill Trail up. It was steep and I was feeling the push but I need to keep moving. If I wait until I’m perfectly healed, I may never get back into shape.    


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