I’m thinking about writing a little book titled Wessy’s Walks. It will be about dog friendly hikes/walks that are not tremendously hard or too far away from northeast Georgia, though many will be in North Carolina. So, I’m not going into too much detail here about this one except to say that I have hiked Wesser Bald several times and always loved it. It’s a beautiful short hike. There is a strong elevation gain and for some reason I’m having trouble with that. It’s heart pounding!
The trail to the top of Wesser Bald is one of the purest parts on the Appalachian Trail. It’s never overrun with tourists, I guess because it is not simple to access. The AT Conservancy keeps this trail free of blow downs and loose rocks. Members maintain the ups making it pretty ease to hike.
The views going up are stunning, and as you can see, the leaves are gone in North Caroline. But the woods have not settled into winter yet. I had a difficult time with all the sharp light and it was still very hot! In fact, the hike up was very warm! We started out with a couple of light layers on and I ended up wishing I had shorts on before I reached the fire tower at the top!
It does not get any better than this trail. It’s an adventure, but it’s also just a good afternoon hike.
Take plenty of water! Wessy was hot, so we stopped for water breaks on the way up. No dropping of her lead on this mountain. The woods are dense, and there are way too many places where a Little Brown Dog can get into trouble!
At the top of Wesser Bald, a deck sits on top of the old steel framework that was the former base for the fire tower.
The view is pristine except for a small fire visible on the left of this photograph. That little line of smoke is what the person, who once occupied the fire tower would have reported.
A favorite sign. We always photograph it. If you make it up the old fire tower steps then you need to celebrate! Wessy did not make the climb but she wanted to and tried! Yikes!
There was so much light at the top of this “bald” that all you can do is go with it and just photograph it . . . or at least try.
Totally sun washed! Wessy did get to go “loose lead” on the way down because I was not moving as fast as she moves. We usually take a short cut back to the car and did again on this day. I would not recommend it. This is the old jeep road which is no longer used. The person who once “manned” the tower used it to get up and down the mountain. Today, rains have washed the road leaving so much loose rock that it is almost impossible to get down without falling. (Little Brown Dogs are not counted in this. They rock climb with ease!) The only reason I mention this is (it will save you about 30 minutes) because some trail guides have added it as a hiking option. But I say, “Stick to the AT. It is maintained and safe.”
I do love the view of the tower from the road’s perspective. It is almost like the tower just pops up on the horizon as a complete surprise!
Guess I need to say “Goodbye to fall! Now, I’m waiting for the winter light in the woods to appear! Winter is one of my absolute favorite times in the mountains!
Directions: Coming from US-74 and Wayah Rd, the last mile is gravel road but okay for low ground clearance vehicles. Coming from NC-28/Bryson City Rd, more is gravel but should be in the same condition. Both directions are closer to a single lane and get twisty, so take it slow on corners. The route through Tellico Valley is very scenic! I like to go in and out through that area.
Parking is limited at Tellico Gap but I have never had a problem. There’s room for 10-12 vehicles with overflow along road.