with Lionel Kennedy in a traverse of the range to Mitchell. This peak is not much on views but has lots of atmosphere.
Peak 5 of 6 in my Southern Sixer Six Pack. Check out my trip report on the Mount Mitchell page.
but it's there. Just some easy bushwacking to the top.
On the way to Deep Gap
My wife Jennifer and I hiked Catail Peak/Potato Knob early in the summer on our traverse of the Black Mountain Crest Trail which begins at the Mt. Mitchell picnic area. This continuously rolling, steep and slippery trail (especially past Deep Gap) hits 7 named Southern Sixers (Mt. Mitchell, Mt. Craig, Balsam Cone, Cattail Peak/Potato Knob, Winter Star Mountain, Gibbs Mt. & Celo Knob).
The views on this were some of the best on the east coast. Late spring & early summer are good times to attempt a traverse of the North Carolina Blacks. The wildflowers at this time are showing their colors, the ferns are unrolling & the Balsam forests are alive with all kinds of wildlife. Also, the brutal heat and humidity that characterize summer in the South usually does not set in, in earnest until mid-June.
It was raining and I had no view. Good climb though.
The 5th and worst of the five summits hiked that day, Cattails Peak offered absolutley no views. It was a good resting place, but once again I would only reccomend this hike to peakbaggers. Check out my trip report on the Mt. Mitchell page.
I hit Cattail Peak on my day hike of the Black Mountain Crest Trail, aka Deep Gap Trail. A really nice peak. The summit had some quite level areas and some very tempting campsites, although the park service does request that no one camp on the crest of the Black Mountains. Indeed, all one has to do is climb over Potato Hill and descend into Deep Gap to find nice and varied campsites which are closer to a water source.