Blue Ridge Parkway – Linville Falls (Milepost 316.4)

Headed over to Linville Falls today since we’d had a considerable amount of rain. Of course it being December, the visitors center wasn’t open. But, you could drive to the parking lot at the visitors center to park. Today was a very wet / muddy walk on all of the trails because of the recent rain.

Today when we arrived at the parking area, we immediately parked at one of the first parking spaces that we found. Our first stop was the Dugger Creek Falls area. To enjoy this part of the Linville Falls area, as you enter the parking area, you will see a trail that seems that it will be paved, but soon becomes a leaf covered trail. This is an easy trail. We enjoyed some cascades below the waterfall. We continued on and came around a bend where we saw a wooden bridge. You can get some pretty nice shots of the small waterfall from the bridge. The waterfall is about 10 feet tall. I read that if you continue on this trail, that it takes you to where the river bridge that you cross as you are driving to the parking area. We just turned around headed to the overlooks for Linville Falls. It was only about 1/10 of a mile from the parking area to the bridge. If you take the path from the visitors center to Dugger Creek Falls, it’s about 3/10 of a mile.

After enjoying Dugger Creek Falls, we backtracked and came back to the parking area. We then took the trail to the left. Our next destination was Plunge Basin Overlook. We walked about 2/10 of a mile and came to where you could turn right or left. Turning right would take you to the visitors center. We turned left and walked another 1/2 mile or so to the overlook. On our way to the overlook, we passed the trail on the left that takes you down to the river. We didn’t take this trail today. We kept on going straight, descending down to the overlook. When you are almost there, you take stairs down to the actual overlook. At this overlook, you are above the falls on the left hand side of the falls. If you look up to your left, you can see people on the Chimney View Overlook. After enjoying the views here, we headed out. Of course when you head out, you’ve got a pretty good ascent and this is why the trail is rated difficult. We stayed straight on the trail until we reached the visitors center.

We walked through the visitors center area and crossed a bridge for our 4 other destinations. On the way to the other destinations, you will come across a path on the right. There is a gravel parking area out that way where people park when the parkway is closed.

But, continuing on. There are 4 overlooks. They are (and in this order) Upper Falls Overlook, Chimney View Overlook, Erwins View, and Gorge View. When we go here, we always hike to the end and work our way back.

So, today we walked 8/10 of a mile from the visitors center on a moderate trail. What I read says that the trail is moderate, but there’s a gradual elevation gain that some people were really struggling with. When you get to the end of the trail, you have the steps to Erwins View on your left. We walked a few more feet to Gorge View. No waterfall view here. But, you have really nice view of Linville River flowing through Linville Gorge Wilderness.

After enjoying the views here, we then turned around and pretty much immediately took a right up the steps to Erwins View. There are actually 2 overlooks at Erwins View. The first that you come to has views downstream into the gorge. You can then climb up a few more steps to a flat boulder. This is where you will have you waterfall view off in the distance.

After enjoying the views, we went back out to the trail and backtracked about 1/10 of a mile, and then took the trail to Chimney View Overlook on the right. Took a short walk to the overlook which provides you with a closer view of the waterfall. I got scared here. A family came down to the overlook and their girl that was probably 14 years old just ran and plopped herself up on the ledge of the overlook. Her parents just about freaked out. It freaked me out. It’s a long fall down into the gorge from up there.

We headed out and then went back down to Upper Falls Overlook. When you arrive at the overlook, on your right you can see where the water starts falling through a slot in the canyon, above the big waterfall. Go around to your left to enjoy the two small / 15 foot waterfalls.

After enjoying this area, we headed back to the car. We walked probably a little over 3 miles today, but there was so much to see in those 3 miles.

Here is a map of the Linville Falls trails. https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/upload/Linville%20Falls%20Trails.pdf

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Not far after turning onto the road towards the visitors center, there is a small picnic area on the left. This is a photo that we took down at the river back towards the river bridge.

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As you arrive at the parking area at the visitors center, the path to Dugger Creek Falls is the first one on your left

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Some cascades below Dugger Creek Falls

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The bridge that you stand on to view Dugger Creek Falls

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Dugger Creek Waterfall

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Heading to Plunge Basin Overlook. We didn’t turn left and go down into the Linville Gorge today.

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Start of the stairway down to Plunge Basin Overlook

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Linville Falls from Plunge Basin Overlook

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We are still at Plunge Basin Overlook. If you look about mid photo and towards the top, you will see people standing on Chimney View Overlook, I believe.

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Time to start the climb from Plunge Basin Overlook

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Lots of roots and rocks as you are ascending from Plunge Basin Overlook

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The trail up ahead looks like it’s becoming a tunnel

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Only 3/10 of a mile to the parking area. When we arrived where we could turn right to go back to Dugger Creek Falls, we went straight instead, to the visitors center.

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Arriving at the visitors center

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Bridge on the other side of the visitors center that takes you to all of the other overlooks

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Here you can peek through the branches and see people out on Upper Falls Overlook

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Here’s the cutoff to the gravel parking lot. Would love to know how to get to that parking lot.

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We walked to the end of the trail and are going to do all of the overlooks as we backtrack. Erwins View is up the steps to the left. We’re going to start out, straight ahead, at Gorge View.

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View of the river flowing up through Linville Gorge Wilderness, from Gorge View

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Time to check out Erwins View

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Zoomed in on Linville Falls from Erwins View. You can see people on the left, towards the top of the photo, at Chimney View Overlook.

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Mountain view from Erwins View. That may be part of the Roan Highlands way in the background.

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Heading down to Chimney View Overlook

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Zoomed in on Plunge Basin Overlook. Captured some guy pretty close to the edge outside of the overlook area.

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Looking up-river from Chimney View Overlook

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Linville Falls, and partial view of the 2 little upper falls, from Chimney View Overlook

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Heading to our last overlook. Upper Falls Overlook.

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Water rushing down through the slot in the canyon, getting ready to flow over Linville Falls

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The two little upper falls

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Heading back to the car. You can barely see it, but the bridge to the visitors center is way in the background.

 

 

Asheville, NC – North Carolina Arboretum

Today was our monthly visit to the arboretum. We usually walk a trail or two on our monthly visit, and then go and see if anything is going on in the gardens. For prior posts , do a search by “ranger annette asheville nc north carolina arboretum”.

We’ve wanted to walk this trail before, but never have because usually the gravel parking area on the left as you enter the gate, is usually full. Today we found a parking place. The trail today was Hard Times Road. To get to the trailhead, you walk through the gate at the gravel parking area and turn left. You quickly come to a fork. You go straight. It’s very well signed.

According to the arboretum trail map, which I have posted below, this 8/10 of a mile (one-way) trail is rated as difficult. It has a steady increase in elevation, but I felt it was more moderate. It wasn’t bad. But, Steve and a lady that we talked to on the trail didn’t agree with me.  When you are almost to the end of the trail, you will see Owl Ridge Trail on your right. One of these days, we’re going to take that trail and loop back around to the gravel parking area. That would be approximately a 3.7 mile hike.

But, back to Hard Times Trail. After you pass Owl Ridge Trail on your right, once you walk around the curve, you see a gate that takes you out of the arborteum. It’s my understanding if you continue on, you’ll eventually reach Shut-In Trail. But, if you still continue going straight, you will end up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s my understanding from the guy at the gate, that after you go through the gate on Hard Times Road, that it’s another mile or so up to the parkway.

After we arrived at the gate, we just backtracked and went back to the car. We then drove over to the gardens to see what was happening over there.

Here is the trail map for the arboretum. http://www.ncarboretum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Map_Guide_2014.pdf

Here are a few photos from today. Since yesterday was Christmas, I’ve also included a few Christmas photos.

Address for GPS: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC

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Hard Times Road trailhead

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Below us is the bridge that you drive across when you’re leaving the arboretum

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A shot of the trail through the woods

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And another shot of the trail climbing through the woods

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If you go right, you’ll hit the Owl Ridge Trail. We went straight to the boundary of the arboretum.

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Continue on through the gate to get to Shut-In Trail and / or Blue Ridge Parkway. We turned around here.

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The trail heading out

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Now we are over at the gardens. A cactus with red “blooms”.

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The Christmas light setup at the little cabin right outside the exhibit center

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More Christmas decorations in the Heritage Garden area

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This probably looks nice at night

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The Quilt Garden with the huge Christmas tree in the background. The lights are probably amazing here at night.

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In the winter, they take most of the bonsai plants out of the cold, and replace with light displays that are probably very pretty at night

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A little winter blooming in the bonsai garden

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A shot from the bonsai garden, looking down at one of the hiking trails

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Love this shot where you can enjoy the view from rocking chairs at the edge of Plants of Promise Garden

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Now the home photos. My oldest son Eric posing before we open presents on Christmas day.

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We put this little family ornament up every year

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Sawyer has his eye on something. Probably deer out in the front yard.

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Jason with his gift from his brother

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Steve with his “drink wine and rescue cats” t-shirt

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Jason, Kim, and the twins

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Eric, Katrina, and the twins

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Eli over at Mamaw’s Christmas evening

 

Abingdon, VA – Virginia Creeper Trail (Watauga Parking to Trestle 7)

Took an easy, approximately 4 mile round trip walk today on the Creeper trail. Parked at the Watauga parking area and walked across trestle 7 and then turned around. There weren’t a whole lot of people out today as it was only in the 30’s.

If you park at Watauga parking area and are heading towards Damascus, be careful crossing the road to the trailhead. People fly down Watauga Road.

On this section of the trail, you cross trestles 5 through 7. If you are familiar with this trail, you know that trestle 7 was the longest trestle on the trail and was destroyed by a tornado in 2011. Here is a link that shows what trestle 7 looked like prior to the tornado, and some photos of reconstruction of the trestle in 2013. http://www.vacreepertrail.us/trestle7.html

When you start out on the trail, it won’t be long until you reach trestle 5. It’s a tall trestle and you’ll see a very small creek that runs under the trestle. You continue on and quickly come to another very tall trestle, which is trestle 6. It’s pretty here. Again, creeks weaving underneath and around the trestle. The creeks here are wider than they were at trestle 5. There is a sign at trestle 6 that I don’t remember seeing in the past. It talks about how the trestle was named after a guy named Gene Mathis. He sponsored the reconstruction of trestle 6 after is was destroyed by arsonists. It also said that he built many bluebird houses and that you will see some of them along the Creeper trail.

Continuing on past trestle 6, you eventually are walking above a small portion of Holston River. Then shortly you come across a huge farm. This farm is beautiful. You cross through gates right before trestle 7 which is the driveway for the farm. You then arrive at trestle 7. We walked across the trestle and took some photos and then headed back to the car.

One other thing that we did notice were a few signs along the trail that stated “Tell AEP – No High Voltage Power Lines Along the Creeper Trail”. Here is an article about a proposal that would impact the beauty of this section of the Creeper trail. http://www.wcyb.com/news/Power-proposal-affecting-Abingdon-residents/35488560

Here are a few photos from today.

Address for GPS for Watauga Parking: 24350 Watauga Road, Abingdon, VA

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Trailhead across the road from Watauga parking area

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Long straight stretch on the trail

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Steve on trestle 5

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Hilly view from trestle 5

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Leaving trestle 5. On the right, you can see one of the old concrete markers that were used when the trail was a railroad.

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I hope they don’t put high voltage power lines along the trail

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Trestle 6 named after Gene Mathis

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Small creek below trestle 6

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Small creek system right past trestle 6

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You walk above Holston River on a short portion of the trail

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We have arrived at the farm. View of Holston Mountain in the background.

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Being checked out by one of the cows on the farm

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You can see all the trees in the background that may be dead after the tornado. Not sure if they even have any leaves during the summer.

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Me going through one of the gates at the farm

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Trestle 7 heading towards Damascus

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And a view of Trestle 7 heading back towards Abingdon

Blue Ridge Parkway – “Trail” to Hebron Falls (Milepost 296.4)

As you see in the name of this hike, I have focused on the word “trail”. You know that even if we go on hikes and don’t make it all the way to our destination, I still post some photos from our hike.

Why did we not make it all the way to Hebron Falls? This is because when we were probably about 2/10 of a mile or so from the cutoff to the falls, we came to a concerning part of the trail that we didn’t know existed. We came to this huge rock and were walking around on the rock trying to figure out where in the world the trail continued on at. We finally figured out that you had to go (slightly scramble) up this rocky / thin section which was very close to the edge, and we were a little ways up above the river. We don’t get that adventurous. It was a nice walk up until then, but we decided we’d better turn around and not chance it. When we did arrive back at Julian Price Picnic Area, a lady that was vacationing in the area asked for some ideas of other places to hike. She had just taken the 5 mile Boone Fork Trail. We asked her if she made it to the falls. She had, but she had taken the Boone Fork Trail in the opposite direction. We told her why we didn’t make it to the falls. She told us she didn’t blame us. She said that when they scrambled down that rock that I was telling you about, that she hurt her leg. Well, I guess we’ll never get to see the falls, other than seeing them in other people’s photos.

But, for those of you that are more adventurous. Hebron Falls is a waterfall that flows over Hebron Rock Colony which is a field of huge boulders on Boone Fork. You have to access the falls from Julian Price Memorial Park picnic area.

Right past the restrooms at the picnic area, cross the footbridge over Boone Fork. You’ll come to a “Kids in Parks” display. If you are going to do the 5 mile Boone Fork Trail (loop trail), you can decide whether you are going to go straight or turn right. If you just want to go to the waterfall, turn right. You will then see a sign that tells you that it’s only 1.4 miles to the waterfall. What I’ve read, it says that it’s easy to moderate. I’d consider it pretty easy except for that one part that we were afraid to try. That’s probably the only thing that makes it moderate because the walk up to that point was relatively easy.

As you are leaving the picnic area which is now across Boone Fork, you come into an open area where according to a big sign, was an old lake bed. It isn’t far and you are right beside of Boone Fork, and are walking by it pretty much the rest of the way. One thing that I did find very interesting was that you will come to a sign that shows you which way to go to continue on Boone Fork Trail, and this sign also directs you on which way to continue on Mountains to Sea Trail. If you are hiking this Mountains to Sea Trail, at this point you have to cross Boone Fork. It’s wide and alot of water at this crossing. Again, for the more adventurous.

We still had a nice walk today though even though we didn’t make it all the way to our destination. We probably walked a couple of miles in all.

Here are a few photos from this walk today.

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Footbridge across Boone Fork right past the restrooms

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View upriver from the footbridge

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After you cross the bridge, you have a big sign showing the trails of the park

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Right past the trail sign, there is the “Kids in Park” display. Turn right in front of this display if you want to take the short way to Hebron Falls.

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Hebron Falls is only 1.4 miles

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Some information about the old lake bed that you are getting ready to walk across

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Walking through the area that used to be an old lake bed

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We’re now walking beside Boone Fork again

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Sign telling you that if you are hiking the Boone Fork Trail loop, that you’ve made it 1/2 a mile of the 5 mile loop

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We’d had recent rain, so the trail was pretty wet in spots

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Huge boulder in Boone Fork

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Here is the sign for the Mountains to Sea Trail that I was talking about

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And this is the Mountains to Sea Trail. Yes, you have to cross Boone Fork to continue north on the Mountains to Sea Trail.

Limestone, TN – Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park

Needed a pretty quick walk today, so headed to this park. The only thing that I had ever previously found on the internet about trails at the park, was you could walk along the river. Nothing about how far, etc. On our trip to this park today, we were very surprised.

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park commemorates the birthplace of Davy who was born near Limestone. This area includes a limestone marker and replica cabin, as well as visitor center exhibits. Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park has 88 campsites, a swimming pool, playground, and picnic pavilions. Fishing is popular along the Nolichucky River.

For our little adventure today, we parked in the big parking lot at the visitors center and walked back across the road and saw what looked like a little road (cabled off) that went down over the bank towards the river. So, we headed off that way. We did spend some time walking beside of the river. I told Steve, let’s walk around the perimeter of the park and see if there’s anything that we can discover. As soon as we walked across the area where you can put a little boat into the river, we saw a small trail through the bamboo. So, headed that way. This was a trail that takes you along the river on the back side of the park. Due to the recent rains, the trail was pretty muddy. It wasn’t long until we came to a grassy clearing. We saw a road going up through the trees on the left. Didn’t walk up there, just kept on going straight along the river. We eventually came to a trail that cut off to the left with a little sign that said “Collett Gravesite”. We decided we’d keep on going straight along the river, but definitely would backtrack and go to this gravesite. As we continued on straight, we came to another small clearing that actually had a couple of picnic tables. We continued on and pretty quickly came to a roped off area which ended up being a parking area. So, another place that you can park for this trail, but I have no idea what road this was on. So, at this point we backtracked and headed up the trail towards the gravesite. This is a pretty short climb up the ridge. After a bit, you do arrive at the little gravesite. This is the gravesite of William Collett who was a Civil War soldier that used to run a mill on the banks of the river. That’s really all that I could find on him. Continuing on and right past the gravesite, there was a fork in the trail. We decided to take the right fork. This took us out into a meadow that had a well mowed trail. We came to another fork and took off to the right. We eventually came to a short path off to the right where there were a couple of trees on the hill with a bench. On parts of this part of the trail, you can kind of see the mountains in the background. When the leaves are on the trees, you would probably barely be able to see the mountain tops. We then came to a 4 way intersection. Here is the first spot where we saw any posts of trail names. We had apparently just come off of Crockett Ridge Trail. There was then another sign for Meadow Scape Trail. We turned left but didn’t do the Meadow Scape loop. A little further up, we came upon another trail sign for Mockingbird Loop Trail. We didn’t take the loop but continued straight. We pretty quickly saw the visitors center on our right and headed over that way. Instead of jumping in the car, we crossed the road again and then took a trail that headed in the other direction (from where we originally started) that took you along the river. We didn’t go too far in that direction. It became kind of muddy and there was some soft sand. Took a few photos in this direction and then headed back to the car. After all was said and done, we probably walked about 1.5 miles. It was a pretty easy walk.

As I was doing research on the above trail names, I did run across this information. Apparently there is a trail sign near the visitors center that takes off on the opposite direction from where we started. https://books.google.com/books?id=aaWfBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=davy+crockett+birthplace+state+park+meadowscape+trail&source=bl&ots=uppp3UTboL&sig=7HglyHPbSmzC5JCH-P-1cuRI-V8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQjvqJscDLAhUEYiYKHZlMBy0Q6AEIPjAF#v=onepage&q=davy%20crockett%20birthplace%20state%20park%20meadowscape%20trail&f=false

For additional information about Davy and the park, check out the  following link. http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/davy-crockett-birthplace

Here are several photos from today.

Address for GPS: 1245 Davy Crockett Park Rd, Limestone, TN

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Davy Crockett memorial

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Davy Crockett replica cabin

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A shot inside the cabin (through bars / you can’t enter the cabin)

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Starting our walk. A shot along the river.

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The trailhead through the bamboo right past the little boat ramp

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You walk a short ways beside of the river on a little trail and come into this clearing

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A river shot

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And another river shot

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You then leave the clearing and take the trail through what seems to be some very short bamboo

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We’re back at the river again

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You then come across the trailhead that takes you up on the ridge to the gravesite

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The next clearing beside of the river. Couple of picnic tables here.

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Trail ends here at an alternate parking area

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We turned around and went back to the gravesite trail. We are now on top of the ridge.

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William Collett gravesite

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William Collett gravesite headstone

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One of the intersections in the meadow area

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Intersection of Crockett Ridge Trail and Meadow Scape Trail

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Davy Crockett replica cabin way in the background as we are nearing the visitors center

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We have passed our car, walked back across the road, and are now taking a trail in the opposite direction from where we first started our walk today. Heading down by the river in the other direction.

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One shot from the other direction. Didn’t walk far in this direction.

 

Flag Pond, TN – Rocky Fork State Park

This was our 3rd visit to the park since I started my Ranger Annette site. This 2,036 acre park is located about 10 miles outside of Erwin.

As you turn onto Rocky Fork Road, watch for pull-offs. We usually stop at about all of them as we are headed up the road to the parking area. There are some beautiful rapids up through there. It’s about 1 mile to the parking area. The paved road to the parking area is kind of narrow, but not scary narrow. Once you arrive at the parking area, there is limited parking. So, you may have to turn around and head back down the paved road to park at one of the pull-offs. The closest pull-off to the parking area isn’t far.

Some projects that they have in mind for this newest state park in Tennessee includes a visitor center / gift shop, improved parking, ranger station, campground, mountain biking / horseback riding trails,  and a hiking trail system with access to the Appalachian Trail.

Today we headed around the gate and enjoyed a walk along Rocky Fork Creek. The walk along the creek is beautiful. You’ll sometimes run across people fishing along the creek. Today we only ran across one other couple. We were on our way back to the car. We didn’t hear them walk up behind us and it scared the crap out of me. They must have done one of the really long backcountry hikes because we didn’t see them up in the direction that we went. It was cold, and the guy had a child, maybe a year old or so, in a carrier on his back.

The way we did head though. When you come to the big fork, we took the left fork. Where there had been so much rain recently, there was alot of water flowing off one hill and it was a slight challenge getting across this “creek”. But, we did and moved on. As we always do, we walked until we got to Rocky Fork Creek where the creek is very wide and slightly deep. If I recall correctly, the entire walk that we take may be around 2.5 miles round trip. I hope in the future as they are making improvement to the park that they put a bridge across the creek here. Would love to see what lies ahead on this trail.

There are a couple of other much more lengthy / strenuous trails at the park. This walk along the creek is really the only one we’ve ever done.

Here are some photos from today. I usually provide a description for each, but when most of them are just water shots, not real easy to do. I’ll just tell you that the first 5 photos are from the pull-offs on the way to Rocky Fork State Park. Then of course the rest are from our walk at the state park. Enjoy!

Address for GPS: 501 Rocky Fork Road, Flag Pond, TN

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Small parking area / trailhead

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This is where we stop and don’t cross the rushing creek

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I don’t know for sure, but wondering if these are the cliffs that people hike to

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The couple hiking with the little child. He’s got the baby on his back.

Bristol, TN – Whitetop Creek Park

This is my 2nd post from this small park. To see some fall photos that were taken at this park, check out this link. https://rangerannette.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/bristol-tn-whitetop-creek-park/

Today we wanted to get out and get some steps, so we took a cold, early morning walk at Whitetop Creek Park. This is because I had to start work at 10AM. When we go over to take a quick walk at this park, we normally walk the trail counter clock wise. Today we changed it up and walked it clock wise. This is mostly an easy 1 mile trail. If you walk the trail counter clock wise, you do have 1 pretty short steep hill.

Taking the trail counter clock wise, the trail starts out paved on the lower end of the parking lot (1st entrance to parking lot). Before hitting the trail, as we were getting ready at the car, the cows across the road were heading over our way and being very loud. Took a few photos of the cows. But, the really interesting thing was that there was a lady that drove up. When she got out of her car, 3 cats came barreling out of a little hiding place where the creek runs under the road. She was there to feed the feral cats. Steve went over and took a few photos of them. We then headed on and as we were walking the trail, the lady that was feeding the cats was heading our way. We stopped and talked to her for a bit. She comes over every day and feeds the cats twice a day. We continued on after our long conversation with her and came to the pond. The pond was so still today. Had fun taking photos of reflections in the pond. As we were walking around the back end of the pond, I heard what seemed to be a little waterfall. Had never heard that before. But, we had recently had alot of rain. Walked through the muddy grass and took a few photos there. It was then time to head home and get to work.

Here is a site that provides some detailed information about this park. http://www.bristoltn.org/191/Whitetop-Creek-Park

Here are a few photos from the park. Included are photos from where Steve went up past Underwood Park with Jason. They took a ride on his new 4 wheeler type thing. Then, the twins came up today for a while and “helped” put the Christmas tree up.

Address for GPS: 310 Speedway Dr, Bristol, TN

1

The loud mouth cows heading our way. You can see the front cow bellowing.

2

The feral cats chowing down

3

Walking towards the back end of the park

4

The wetlands area through the trees. You can barely see the observation platform on the right hand side of the photo. Have never seen this much water in the wetlands area before.

5

The pond with Bristol Motor Speedway in the background

6

Steve captured this flapping duck

7

One of our photos showing reflection of trees in the still water

8

Off trail on back end of pond. We had lots of rain this past week and have never heard the water flowing as it was today.

9

Time to head towards the car. You can see the paved trail going up the hill on the other side of the pond. Once you get to the top of the hill, you’re pretty much back to the parking lot.

10

You can see a part of Holston Mountain after you get past the pond

11

Jason on his 4 wheeler. He wanted Steve to take some photos as he played.

12

Jason splashing around on the trail

13

Sawyer and Eli helping Pops get the Christmas tree stand ready

14

Orka wanted to help too. I have a feeling that she got stuck by the limbs because she never did go anywhere near the tree after we put it up.

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