Category: Nature

Adventure awaits in Cumberland Mountains

Hiking The Twin Arches At Big South Fork

Nature, Photography April 18, 2019

Part 2

See Part One: Twin Arches At Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Time and weather permitting, you’ll have a great time hiking the Twin Arches! Here’s a short video from under the North Arch

I also shot several photographs of this interesting geological destination, which are now available as prints in my gallery at Pixels. Here are a few examples –

Hope to see you soon. In the meantime…

Enjoy the great outdoors!

Twin Arches At Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Twin Arches At Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Nature, Photography April 17, 2019

Part One

I recently visited the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, which encompasses 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau – in both Kentucky and Tennessee – and boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs.

With many sights to see, I decided to hike the Twin Arches, described as “the most impressive rock arches in the eastern United States”. The North Arch has a clearance of 51 feet, a span of 93 feet and its top deck is 62 feet high, while the South Arch has a clearance of 70 feet, a span of 135 feet and its top deck is 103 feet high.

North Arch
South Arch

Here’s a video taken at the South Arch…

A sign at the park provided this description as to how these arches were formed:

Weaker layers of sandstone form the base of the nearly vertical walls of this narrow ridge. The weathering of these erosion-susceptible layers caused sections of the wall to fall away, forming shallow rock shelters on both sides of the ridge.

The collapse and shelter enlarging process continued until two “windows” in the narrow ridge were formed. This opening enlarged until it reached the stronger and more erosion-resistant sandstone layer of rim rock that caps the Twin Arches.

A cave was situated under one end of the South Arch, so I entered to discover that there was an exit at the back, albeit a narrow passage at approx. 18″ wide. Footprint-impressions in the sand from hikers provided some assurance that the cave was empty – no bats or bears. But, watch your step & don’t bump your head!

Here’s a short video as I entered the cave…

The top of the arches are one contiguous surface area, accessible by stairs, though the South Arch has additional areas visitors may ascend so as to attain the best view:

At the pinnacle, scenic views were truly spectacular on this fine day – unique walls of eroded sandstone, mountains and valleys lined with trees, and an interesting cap-rock area to walkabout. Here are a few examples:

Here’s a video of the surrounding environment –

Partial Map of Park

The only complaint I had while visiting the Twin Arches is Divide Road. As soon as you leave TN-154, you can expect to travel for nearly 5 miles along a gravel road which is narrow with frequent & deep potholes, many hidden by shadows from trees lining the road. So, to be safe, I drove this stretch at less than 10 m.p.h..

Keep in mind, however, that the most impressive sights to see at the Twin Arches are at ground level. So, stay tuned for Part Two

Turn The Corner Framed Print

Nature, Products April 12, 2019

Hiking on Mount Le Conte near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the trail had many turns and became colder as I ascended above the frost line. This photograph is available on a variety of print types, including this customizable framed print. Check it out!

Enjoy the great outdoors!

Golden Shade of Autumn

Golden Shade of Autumn

Nature, Photography April 9, 2019

Dry leaves crackle as I step along a hillside by the river, at peace in the forest beneath the vibrant, golden shade of autumn.

Phil Perkins

This photograph was taken along the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I finally added it to my gallery at Pixels, today. If you’d like to see more, several different print-types are available (framed, canvas, art, metal, acrylic and wood).

Sandstone Rock Formation

Sandstone Rock Formation

Nature, Photography April 5, 2019

This photograph features the sandstone caprock at Chimney Top Mountain, located at Frozen Head State Park in the Cumberland Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. If you’d be interested in a print for your home or workplace, then stop by my gallery at Pixels to review framed, canvas, art, metal, acrylic and wood print types.

Frozen Head State Park

Frozen Head State Park

Nature, Photography April 4, 2019
Map of Frozen Head State Park

Frozen Head State Park is situated in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. The mountainous terrain varies from an elevation of 1,340 feet to over 3,000 feet on 16 different mountain peaks, with 13,122 acres of relatively undisturbed forest containing some of the richest wildflower areas in the state (better viewed during summer months).

A short 45-minute drive from Knoxville, Tennessee, I recently visited the park to hike the Chimney Top Trail, a steep, rugged trail with giant sandstone caprock and natural vista. It’s a 3.5 mile trek to the top with a total gain in elevation of 3,460 feet, as hikers ascend two separate mountains along the trail. Total time: 6 hours.

Here’s part of the Frozen Head State Park map featuring the Chimney Top Trail:

Map of Frozen Head State Park

There were several points of interest along the hike, including the following:

The challenges to this hike were several. First, the distance: 3.5 miles each way. Second, the mind – that is, after hiking up a mountain for 50 minutes, it’s somewhat discouraging to then be faced with having to hike down the backside, losing gains in elevation, only to then be greeted by an even taller mountain. Lastly, the finish: towards the top, hikers encounter the trail’s only flat surface along a ridge; however, this is short-lived, as the final stretch is by far the most difficult.

During this final stretch, glimpses on the rocky top can be seen through the forest:

Hikers must climb the sandstone caprock using one of several pathways, in order to enjoy the wonderful view from the peak of Chimney Top Mountain – seen here:

This is a topographic computer simulation of Bird Mountain, as seen from the top of Chimney Top Mountain, provided in the park map:

Finally, I shot this panoramic video with my iPhone as I walked across the caprock:

Make sure you carry a walking stick, and…

Enjoy the Cumberland Mountains!

Island

Nature March 30, 2019

Enjoy visiting this small island with two palm trees, located in the middle of an ocean with the setting sun casting an orange glow. I’ve added this digital artwork to my galleries at Pixels and Zazzle.

Drop by for a visit to discover available items such as these examples:

The Sinks

Tennessee Waterfall

Nature, Photography March 29, 2019

In the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, The Sinks is a popular, picturesque waterfall located along the Little River. You can bring this wonderful scene of nature inside your home or workplace by selecting from a variety of different print types – available in my gallery at Pixels.

Thanks for stopping by!

Upper Meigs Falls

Upper Meigs Falls

Nature, Photography March 28, 2019

Located along Little River Gorge Road (State Highway 73) in the Smoky Mountains near Townsend, Tennessee, is The Sinks, a popular roadside waterfall. Parking is available, though limited – so plan to arrive early.

The Sinks

This is the trailhead for Meigs Creek Trail, which, at a distance of 2 miles, features the picturesque 18′ Upper Meigs Falls

Upper Meigs Falls
Upper Meigs Falls

Along the hike, it’s necessary to cross the creek several times, stepping on stones and walking across logs to keep dry. So, you’ll probably want to carry (or locate) a walking stick to use for balance. Caution: damp surfaces and moss may be slippery.

Here’s a video taken at the base of Upper Meigs Falls

Upper Meigs Falls

Enjoy the great outdoors!