Hoffman Notch

Posted on 17 Jun 2021 by Steve Markham

Kyle and I had such fun on Sunday’s adventure that we went out again last night. Hoffman Notch is a 7.5 mile pass between the Washburn Ridge and Blue Ridge. We parked at the south end, hiked up almost to Blue Ridge Rd at the north end, then turned around and headed back, camping along the way about halfway back.

We were hiking along one creek or another pretty much the whole way.
We were hiking along one creek or another pretty much the whole way.
Kyle was in front all day yesterday, and set a 2.3mph pace--quite fast.
Kyle was in front all day yesterday, and set a 2.3mph pace--quite fast.
I love a good walk in the woods, and to have the path hug such a lovely stream the whole way was delightful.
I love a good walk in the woods, and to have the path hug such a lovely stream the whole way was delightful.
The halfway point was 'Big Marsh' which looked like a pond because of all the water this year.
The halfway point was 'Big Marsh' which looked like a pond because of all the water this year.
The trail was muddy at times and there were several large trees to walk around, but overall a pretty easy hike.
The trail was muddy at times and there were several large trees to walk around, but overall a pretty easy hike.
For me, the highlight was the Hoffman Notch Brook waterfall, which is really a few hundred yards of small falls/rapids.
For me, the highlight was the Hoffman Notch Brook waterfall, which is really a few hundred yards of small falls/rapids.
We dropped packed, refilled water, ate a snack,and went exploring.
We dropped packed, refilled water, ate a snack,and went exploring.
Supposedly there is another 100ft cascade somewhere along the hike, but we didn't see it.
Supposedly there is another 100ft cascade somewhere along the hike, but we didn't see it.
Eventually we decided to stop hiking upstream along the brook, and return to the trail.
Eventually we decided to stop hiking upstream along the brook, and return to the trail.
As we descended the back half of the notch, we saw this pile of trees. This would be an exciting spot to be during a heavy storm.
As we descended the back half of the notch, we saw this pile of trees. This would be an exciting spot to be during a heavy storm.
I was ready to soak my feet in the creek here, but Kyle wanted to keep going to shorten the hike in the morning.
I was ready to soak my feet in the creek here, but Kyle wanted to keep going to shorten the hike in the morning.
We passed through the remains of an old logging camp. Kyle asked me to pull him on this steel-treaded trailer thingy, but I just wasn't up to it.
We passed through the remains of an old logging camp. Kyle asked me to pull him on this steel-treaded trailer thingy, but I just wasn't up to it.
We go to the spot where the woods on either side of the trail are private land, and rather than walk another mile through a tunnel of POSTED signs, only to come out on a road where no car was waiting for us, we turned back. Once we were back to an interesting section of the stream we had dinner.
Kyle took a picture of me, which was nice since I was on the hike, too.
Kyle took a picture of me, which was nice since I was on the hike, too.
We had four-cheese pasta and chicken for dinner, on the bank.
We had four-cheese pasta and chicken for dinner, on the bank.

I thought we’d hang our hammocks in the trees up on the ledge in that last picture, but after we finished eating we decided to hike some more. We ended up almost back at Big Marsh. It was a chilly night, and I think Kyle didn’t sleep great. But that meant he was ready to make breakfast while I was still waking up. For the first time, he got out the stove and got the water boiling with nothing but half-asleep verbal instructions from his father. That was really the last item on the list of skills he needs to do solo trips. Breakfast was oatmeal and soft-boiled eggs, and it was yummy. We hit the trail around 7:30.

The trail along this section smelled delightful. Cedar, or juniper, or something like that, from the sun warming things up.
The trail along this section smelled delightful. Cedar, or juniper, or something like that, from the sun warming things up.

Not pictured is a very giant humongous and large rock that is mentioned in 50 Hikes it’s so big, that we somehow missed on the way in. We gawked at it on the way out, but didn’t take a picture for some reason.

Last year I slept outside 40 nights. I have a sort of goal to hit 50 nights this year. Last night puts me on pace for 44. Obviously I need to go camping more often.