From the Nantahala Lake Trailhead (3013 feet), the Bartram Trail climbs steeply through lush forest before joining an old road, passing several meadows with abundant wildflowers, and finally intersecting the Appalachian Trail near Wine Spring Bald (5440 feet). Solitude was again plentiful on the Bartram-- no other hikers were seen during my out-and-back hike.
After climbing over 2000 feet, I was rewarded with spectacular views of fog.
Rain predominated, but for one magical moment the sun crept out and clouds shifted to light up the flowers.
For directions and maps, go to the NC Bartram Trail Associations website.