Picklesimer Rock House
Level of difficulty: Easy (100-foot elevation gain)
Driving distance/direction from downtown Highlands, NC: Follow Hwy. 28 south for 5.7 miles from downtown Highlands, NC to Blue Valley Road. (If you pass the Georgia state line, you’ve just missed it.) Turn right onto Blue Valley Road, and follow the road about 3.6 miles to a “T” intersection with national forest information signs. Turn left. The trail is the next right (0.6 mile) after the intersection.
Parking: At the trail, which is an old roadbed, park off Blue Valley Road on the left.
Hiking distance: 1.3 miles round trip
Description: This easy out-and-back trail leads to a rock house in an area that has been used as a shelter for hundreds of years. It is a relatively flat trail suitable for children and those who don’t wish to hike very far. The trail follows an old road through a pine forest for about 0.45 mile to a wildlife clearing. Proceed to a small stream. At this stream, turn right (upstream) onto a worn trail. The rock house is about 100 yards.
Footnote: Look for signs of animals including turkey, bobcats, fox, deer and even black bears.
Hike descriptions adapted from the Highland Hiker’s Guide to Day Hikes.