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Guided Inn-to-Inn Hike

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Day Four: Back Stairs to Crawford, then Follow Davis to Notchland

A rocky (branch) start?

While Zealand Notch is pretty, it’s not the only gem we wanted to share with our new friends. On day four Jeffrey set up a car spot at Notchland then, with Barb’s help (thank you, Barb), started with the ladies at the end of Jericho Road where our trio started the southern end of Rocky Branch Trail. They took this lovely, flattish trail to the Stairs Col Trail where it was time to climb up to the ridge. Aside from some minor ups and downs, this would be the big push of the day. Once the reached the ridge they skirted the edge of Stairs Mountain then they took Davis Path to the Mt Crawford spur.

Redline Guide extraordinaire, Jeffrey Shutak leads.

Upon visiting the lovely Mt Crawford, at 3119-feet, and taking a break there, they retraced their steps back the way they came on the spur then descended the final way out to the lovely Notchland Inn on route 302 and a fine four-course meal. A simple yet delightful plan nearing eight miles. What could be finer? Aside from cooler, more fall-like temperatures and a lot less humidity, that is. This, we hope, matches what our two friends had envisioned. Ending here sounded sweet to us. It’s a solid day, so let’s hope the beds are comfortable. Until then, let’s re-trace their steps.

Making their way through…

…a sea of fallen leaves.

One fine outlook…

…deserves another fine outlook.

Photo stop for our trio.

An outlook near Mt Crawford reveals that the end is indeed near and literally within sight.

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