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A few weeks ago → After approx. 5 miles, I finally reached Virgin Falls. In addition to the substantial volume of water flowing, an unusual outcropping of rock with a tree on top provided visual interest. So much so, that I made a video of it; as follows, my favorite recent video –
Located on the Cumberland Plateau in the Colditz Cove State Natural Area, is one of Tennessee’s most stunning waterfalls – Northrup Falls.
It’s an easy hike into the gorge along Big Branch Creek, where visitors pass towering rock cliffs leading to the 65-foot waterfall with turquoise plunge pool. The trail meanders through an old-growth forest of large hemlocks and white pines, some of which are over 200 years old, before splitting left or right along the top edge of the gorge. There, the trail becomes a loop and either direction leads to the base of (and behind) the falls. However, traveling left provides an earlier view of several interesting geological sights.
Note: shallow, open cave-like structures – a.k.a., “rock houses” – line the creek gorge. These shelters were used by cliff-dwelling Woodland Indians over 3,000 years ago.
This was my second time visiting Northrup Falls, and I did so during a period of a few hours, between (several days of) rain and an oncoming thunderstorm. Hence, everything was wet – muddy trail, slippery rocks – with complete cloud cover. Nevertheless, beautiful scenery!
My First Visit
I first visited Northrup Falls last summer during the month of July, when I enjoyed warm weather, vibrant colors of nature and dry conditions. Here are a few photographs from that hike…
You can enjoy these beautiful scenes of the great outdoors year-round with the purchase of a print from my shop at Pixels. Select among these options: framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and/or acrylic. And, framed prints may also be customized to suit your wishes (size, frame, mat, paper and finish). Whether as home decor, at the office, in a lobby or cafeteria setting, waterfalls serve as an appealing, refreshing addition to your living spaces. Enjoy!
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This photograph captures the trail along the edge of a rocky gorge, where I hiked towards the base of Ozone Falls, in Tennessee. Would you like a print for your home, or office? If so, visit my gallery at Pixels, where you’ll discover several print types to select.
Here are some random photographs from different hikes in the state of Tennessee:
Prints are available in my gallery at Pixels.
Having observed that the gorge below Lower Piney Falls (Tennessee) wasn’t easily accessible, I hiked back uphill and sought to secure a path of descent further along the river. Alas, it was not to be. However, on this half-hour side excursion, I did have the opportunity to see some very interesting rock formations.
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Morning sunlight struggles to pierce the dense fog covering rock ledges on a mountain. I created this digital landscape using Adobe Photoshop & Filter Forge.
Stop by my gallery at Pixels for more!
As a follow-up to two previous posts…
Yesterday I visited Ijams Nature Center a second time, hiking around Mead’s Quarry Lake along a 1.1 mile trail known as Tharp Trace –
Looped trail, steep in places. Named after Minnie Tharp who championed the restoration of Mead’s Quarry. Views of the lake and Mt. LeConte, plus the historic Stanton Cemetery, punctuate long stretches of woodland canopy along the trail above the cliffs.
This sign greets hikers at the beginning of the trail –
After a short walk along the north edge of Mead’s Quarry Lake, the trail inclines for a more strenuous hike. In some areas, stone steps and the roots of trees provided helpful footholds along a damp, slick path –
Here are some more photographs I shot along the Tharp Trace trail –
Near the end of the hike, an informational display provides an historical perspective of the early years at the quarry, including these two black & white photographs –
Despite overcast weather, the temperature was tolerable and I had a very nice hike through the woods. On my way back to the parking lot, I passed a few more spots beckoning to be photographed –
Enjoy the great outdoors in Knoxville, Tennessee!