For additional photos (and definitely higher water flow), search internet by “ranger annette rocky fork state park”.
Rocky Fork is a 2,036 acre park in Unicoi County, TN. I had read that there had been some improvements made since we last visited. A new parking area, and a new bridge across Rocky Fork Creek. In the future there will be a new visitors center. Our walk today was easy and probably close to 2.5 miles round trip.
Today when we arrived, I didn’t immediately see the new parking area. It wasn’t where I thought it was going to be. So, we just parked in the normal small gravel parking area at the trailhead. The first thing that we noticed was how low the water flow was in the creek. Have never seen it anywhere near that low. We hit the trail and of course noticed that the gate was open like you could drive on up the road. At this point still couldn’t tell that there was a parking area ahead, so we walked on. We then came upon a 5 MPH sign and then up ahead was able to tell that there was a parking area to the right. It’s pretty good sized.
We continued on and the next thing that I was looking forward to was the new bridge that was to cross Rocky Fork. Due to the water that is normally pretty high, we’ve never been any further than where the gravel road crosses the creek. I was shocked when we arrived at the creek and there was no bridge. I just knew that there was supposed to be a bridge. We had turned around to start heading back towards the car when I saw a very small trail to our left. Took off on this little trail and quickly came to the bridge that was a little up-river. It was pretty cool. It was constructed from a fallen tree.
We crossed the bridge and then there were steps built up the bank. We continued on the trail and quickly noticed a pond to the right. A little further up the trail, there was a clearing. I belive that is the old Flint Creek Battle Site. We started to continue on the trail, but it was starting to get pretty humid and we were starting to get sweaty. Decided at this point that we took a nice walk and headed back to the car.
On our way out, we came upon a Ranger that was heading through the park. He was telling us that the following weekend I believe, that they were going to have people out actually putting up trail signs. The color of the signs were going to coincide with the colors from the online trail map. I also had quite a few questions about the different trails. He also told us as he was heading into the park from the parking area that he saw a bear. I guess it was long gone by the time that we arrived back at the car.
You can go to this link to get to the Rocky Fork trail map. I tried to put the link to the actual map in here, but it was placing the whole map in my blog. http://tnstateparks.com/about/park-trail-maps#rockyfork
Here are several photos from today.
Park address: 501 Rocky Fork Road, Flag Pond, TN
Right off the bat at the parking area, we were shocked at how low the water was
Where we parked, we noticed that the gate was open, but we were leary of driving up through there
And now here’s a Speed Limit 5 MPH sign. I can now see up ahead that there is probably an entrance to a parking area.
The new parking area. Seems to be a pretty good size.
The little 3 tiered falls not far from the trailhead. Looked pretty pitiful today.
Another view of the creek showing the low water flow. On this section of the creek, there are normally so many cool little rapids.
Another photo of low water flow in another area that normally has some cool rapids
Looking up, we were able to tell that a few leaves were starting to turn
Another photo depicting the low water. There are normally small falls on the left (there’s still some water on the left), and on the right hand side of that large boulder.
A few little fish in the calm water
For our walk toay, we took the split to the left
When there is good / normal water flow, it’s a little tricky crossing this little creek coming out of the mountain into Rocky Fork. Surprised to find this new little bridge.
This is the creek crossing where it’s normally pretty impossible to cross the creek due to the rushing water. We could have almost rock-hopped across this creek today. Looked a little too tricky to do so. But, this is where we thought the new bridge was.
But, we turned around to head back to the car and saw this little trail going into the woods
And shortly, the new bridge across Rocky Fork
After crossing the bridge, you then have to climb these steep / narrow steps that have been placed on the bank
Go a little further and you have this pond on your right
We’ve never been on this section of the trail before. Looks like when the water is normal, this could be a slightly tricky crossing. New footbridge here too.
You then soon come upon this little meadow. I believe this is the Flint Creek Battle Site.
We then quickly came to this sign that stated “No Horses”. This is where the trail becomes a little narrower. It was getting really hot and humid, so we turned around at this point.
A nice woods shot on our way back to the car