St Paul, VA – Riverside Trail

Today we headed to St Paul, VA to walk the Riverside Trail. It is part of the Sugar Hill Trail System. Clinch River is known for it’s freshwater mussels. The entire walk is spent walking along the river. It ends up being about 4 1/2 miles round trip. It’s a very easy trail. Flat almost all the way. A little hilly at the end. We will definitely go back to this area and check out the other couple of trails.

The trail begins at Oxbow Lake. Where it had been so cold and snowy, the lake was partially frozen. You take a dam across the lake to the trailhead. There is a lot of interesting information about  the area at the trailhead. To take this particular trail, you will take the trail on the gate side. There are 2 other trails on the opposite site of the kiosk.

You eventually arrive at a split in the trail. You can continue ahead if you’d like. We also noticed that off to the right was a disc golf short-cut. But, we took the split to the left and continued along the river. Take the trail along the river to where it terminates at St Paul Falls. I was hoping we were going to see a true waterfall. But, it was just rapids. And, you don’t walk all the way to the rapids. The trail ends prior to the rapids.

Here are a few photos from today’s walk. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.

Address for GPS: 16393 Bush Place, St. Paul, VA. This is actually the address of McDonalds. You will turn off of the 4-lane onto a little road that runs beside of McDonalds. If you first want to have a picnic, after you pass McDonalds, watch for the gazebo on you right. Turn down by the gazebo and there will be a few picnic tables. Continue to the end of this road and you will see where the dam goes across the lake.

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At Home – Our First Snowfall

No hike today. Well, first of all because it’s a work day. But, we woke up today and it had just started snowing. We ended up with about 4 inches when all was said and done. I knew the snow was coming, so I just worked from home. Steve called in to let them know he would come in later. But, since it was the day before Thanksgiving, they just told him to start his Thanksgiving holiday early. Hmmmmm. Yeah, and I got to spend the day working with Steve stopping by occasionally to let me know what fun thing he was going to do next while I worked. Hmmmm.

But, he did get out and take a walk around the property (and a little beyond) and captured some nice photos.

So, here are a few photos. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.

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Nebo, NC – Lake James State Park

Today we headed down out of the mountains and went to Lake James State Park. On our way down Hwy 181, it became very foggy. Wasn’t sure if we were in fog, or were in smoke from the Table Rock fire in Linville Gorge, or a little of both. But, when we headed home, we decided to take Hwy 221 back into the mountains. We then knew that our trip down wasn’t through smoke. When we got into the “fog” on the way back up, the smoke smell was very strong.

But, back to the park. This park is a 6,812 acre reservoir located at the base of Linville Gorge. It has a little beach, picnic areas, trails, boating, and camping.

Today we took the Sandy Cliff Overlook Trail which is only about .5 mile round trip. It takes you along one of the park’s peninsulas down to the lake. Then we took the Lake Channel Overlook Trail which is only about 1.5 miles round trip. Both trails are relatively easy. The park has built nice wooden overlooks at the end of each trail where you have beautiful views of lakes and mountains. Because of the fire that I previously mentioned, there wasn’t a nice view of the mountains today. You’ll also see a dam. After we left the park, we found a parking area that we thought would allow us to walk across the dam. But, they have the walkway across the dam fenced up, so that was a little disappointing. Would have loved to have taken some pictures from the dam.

So, here are a few photos from today. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.

Address for GPS: 2785 Hwy 126, Nebo, NC

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Kingsport, TN – Kngsport Greenbelt (A to Z Discount to Brookhaven Manor)

Next! Today was kind of a weird day on the greenbelt. Our last stopping point a few weeks ago was Cloud Park. Now we had to get out and find our next parking area. It ended up being across the road from where we stopped nearby Cloud Park. We ended up parking in the parking lot of the closed A to Z Discount Store.

We walked down the hill and crossed a bridge behind a car wash. Things were going fine. Walking by the river behind some houses. Then, we come around a corner. You started walking by a fence-line that had abandoned parking lots and buildings. Old beat up cars in the parking lots. One of the cars was behind the fence, but almost looked like someone was living in the car. We then came to a street, and it ends up that here is where the greenbelt starts following city streets for a ways. We are not into doing photography out on busy streets. So, we went back to the car and followed the signs out on the streets (which are well marked) until we came to a place that we could park. Our next parking area was behind Clinchfield Family Medicine. Not sure we should have parked there, but we did.

This was a pretty nice walk as we continued on the trail. This section eventually took you by Holston Valley Medical Center. We continued on for a ways until we reached the part of the trail behind Brookhaven Manor. Then turned around and headed back to the doctors office to our car.

Here are a few photos from today. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.

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Hot Springs, NC – Laurel River Trail

I wouldn’t say that the Laurel River Trail is “in” Hot Springs. But, I believe Hot Springs is the closest town to the trail. Hot Springs is about 5 miles from this trail. The trailhead is located at the intersection of Hwy 208 and Hwy 25/70.

The Laurel River Trail is part of North Carolina Rails to Trails. You walk along a trail that many years ago used to be a railroad. It’s about 3 1/2 miles to the end, where you meet up with the French Broad River. We’ve been here a few times, and this is a very popular trail. It’s pretty much level, and as you walk along the river, you view many rapids. As you walk the river, you usually run across fishermen, and occasionally see people kayaking down the river. Near the beginning of the trail, watch up in the woods on your left. You will come across a couple of old retired train cars. They’re a little hard to see. Also, you should stay on the trail too because part of this walk is on private property.

Enjoy our few photos from today. The trail, river, and a little remaining color. Run your cursor over each photo for a brief description.

Address for GPS: Sorry, don’t have one. This trailhead is in the middle of nowhere, but as I stated above, at the intersection of Hwys 208 and 25/70. Click on this link for a map that could help. http://www.ncrailtrails.org/pdfs/LaurelMap.pdf

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Hampton, TN – Doe River Gorge

This is the 2nd time that we’ve been to Doe River Gorge this year. To get more basic information about Doe River Gorge, see my previous COLD post from this past January. https://rangerannette.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/hampton-tn-doe-river-gorge/

We headed up into the gorge today to see what color was left up in there. There was a fair amount. The further that you traveled up into the gorge, the more the color decreased. We walked about 2 miles into the gorge and then turned around and headed out, for a 4 mile round trip walk today. On the way out, we ran across someone from Doe River Ministries taking a group up into the gorge on their little makeshift train.

Enjoy our photos from today as the beauty of fall is about to come to an end.

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Pickens, SC – Table Rock State Park

As you see, I’m on a roll trying to play catch-up on our walks / hikes. Today is Sunday November 24th, and we’re vegging at home today because the forecast for today is 33 and sunny. 33 and sunny is do-able. But, today we have wind. 30’s and wind don’t work for us.

But, back to Table Rock State Park. We bought a new car this week, and decided to take a road trip over into the South Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a 3,000 acre park with the huge table rock as a back-drop. The park has cabins, campground, picnicking, swimming, hiking, etc. You can access the Foothills Trail from here. You can also access other South Carolina state parks from the trails in this park.

Today Steve and I were going to hike some of the Pinnacle Mountain Trail. But, when we got to the fork to head towards Pinnacle Mountain, we decided to just head around to the right and just complete the Carrick Creek Trail loop. This is a 2 mile loop. The first half is spent walking along the creek where you will experience some cascades and waterfalls. There are some bridges to cross, but you also have to do some rock hopping, I believe in 3 different places. But, they were all pretty easy to get across. The trail is pretty easy, although it gets a little rough with tree roots, in places. If you go after a rain and the ground is still wet (like it was today), there are a few spots where it gets a little slippery.

Today as we were walking the trail, we passed a family that said they saw a bear as they were coming up the trail. I thought, oh my gosh, this is going to be our first bear encounter. I even heard other people talking about the bear as we passed them. But, no. The bear I guess had gone on it’s way because we never did run across it. Oh, well!

So, here are some photos from today. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.

Address for GPS: 158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC

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