Avery County High Point Trip Report

Grassy Ridge Bald (6189 ft)

Author: Ron Tagliapietra

Park at Carvers Gap at the state line where NC 261 becomes TN 143. The town of Roan Mtn., Tennessee, is 13 miles north. From the parking area, hike northbound on the Appalachian Trail for 1.6 miles crossing the summits of Round Bald and Jane Bald in the process. After the dip beyond Jane Bald, the AT climbs briefly to a fork. (If you miss this fork, the AT remains fairly level around the peak and then descends.) Take the right fork, which is the Grassy Ridge Trail. It is deeply rutted and also false summits once.

You will recognize the top by the plaque about Cornelius Rex Peake and the benchmark at its foot. I have climbed this peak twice, once in the snow on 1-25-97 and again on 7-18-98. The Roan massif is considered the longest string of balds in the East and Grassy Ridge Bald is the highest grassy bald of the massif, so enjoy the continuous views throughout the hike. For more on this peak, see my book The Southern Sixers.