Tag: environment

Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Nature, Photography May 22, 2019

Road Trip To Kentucky: Part One

Cumberland Falls

Known as the “Niagara of the South”, Cumberland Falls features an impressive 125′ wide curtain of water that plunges 60′ into a boulder-strewn gorge below.

The waterfall was named by Dr. Thomas Walker during a 1750 exploration of Kentucky, after the Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II of England. Additional history of the area can be read here.

Cumberland Falls photographs were shot both at the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, and along the Eagle Falls Trail (across the river).

Learning of Cumberland Falls back in the mid-1990’s, I traveled to the area for two days of hiking & camping. At that time, I shot photographs using a disposable Kodak camera. Years later – with a better camera – I returned to enjoy the great outdoors!

Cumberland Falls is known as the only location in the Western Hemisphere to have a “moonbow”. If interested in seeing this natural phenomenon, you can check this Moonbow Calendar of dates (weather permitting). Visitors will find ample parking, restrooms, gift shop, visitor center, scenic overlooks, picnic tables, and maybe a musician playing a flute for tourists, complementing the sound of falling water.

Here are some more photographs of Cumberland Falls:

Consider A Print For Your Home

Framed, canvas, art, acrylic, wood, metal – there are several print types available in my gallery at Pixels to adorn the walls of your home, or office! Alternatively, you may select from a variety of other merchandise options in these categories – home decor, lifestyle, beach, greeting cards, stationary, phone cases, apparel and coffee mugs.

Here’s a video of Cumberland Falls, from a cliff across the river –

Coming Soon ~ Road Trip To Kentucky: Part Two… Eagle Falls

Water Running Over Rocky Ledge

Nature, Photography May 20, 2019

Having rained the previous evening, the river was full when I shot this photograph along the Middle Prong Trail. This is the top edge of Lower Lynn Camp Falls, located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

You can visit my gallery at Pixels to see a nice variety of print types – and more!

Middle Prong Trail

Nature, Photography May 16, 2019

Introduction

Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, the Middle Prong Trail is 8.2 miles roundtrip, with Indian Flats Falls at the 4.1 mile mark. It then becomes the Greenbrier Ridge Trail, which leads to the Appalachian Trail.

Turning on Tremont Road, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is 2.2 miles at the stop sign, providing restrooms and a small gift shop (maps, t-shirts, hats, etc.). Continue another 3.1 miles along a gravel road to reach the trailhead.

History

The Middle Prong Trail was originally a railroad bed used by the Little River Railroad & Lumber Company, based in Townsend, Tennessee, which was one of the largest commercial logging operations in southern Appalachia, in operation for 38 years until 1939, with 150 miles of railroad. Visitors can find more information available at the Little River Railroad Museum web site.

“Best waterfall hike in the Smokies”

Having read this quote at hikinginthesmokies.com, I was encouraged to organize my gear and hike the area. Also, recent rainfall boded well for active streams. Following my adventure, I concur with the aforementioned sentiment!

Immediately after crossing a footbridge over the river, the trail forks – stay to the left to follow the river. Over the next 4.1 miles, elevation gain is 1140′ along a trail that I would rate as moderate in difficulty – some of the trail includes rocky terrain, and watch out for horse droppings (equestrians allowed).

Watch your step!

Present for the entire hike were the pleasant sounds of running water echoing through the forest, from the river as well as several smaller waterfalls – including:

Lynn Camp Falls

Lower Lynn Camp Falls

Lower Lynn Camp Falls was spectacular! At approx. 1/2 mile from the trailhead, this 35′ waterfall sends water crashing downward along a multi-tiered mountainside. While cognizant of safety concerns, one may traverse its ledges for a closer view.

Without further adieu, here’s a short video of Lower Lynn Camp Falls:

If you’d be interested in prints featuring photographs of Lower Lynn Camp Falls, then please visit my gallery at Pixels to see more. Select from these options: framed, canvas, art, wood, metal or acrylic.

Here are a few examples of what you’ll find:

Upper Lynn Camp Falls

Back on the trail for less than 100 yards, hikers encounter the Upper Lynn Camp Falls. Though not as tall, this picturesque waterfall features interesting rock structures channeling the scenic Lynn Camp Prong. It’s also possible to climb near the falls, but please be aware of prevailing – potentially hazardous – surface conditions.

Here’s a short video of Upper Lynn Camp Falls:

A variety of prints featuring photographs of Upper Lynn Camp Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels.

Enjoy the outdoors → inside your home:

Back On The Trail

Returning to my trek, it wasn’t easy to stop marveling at the abundant beauty of the river, though I did enjoy additional points of interest along the way.

Sights along the trail:

Indian Flats Falls

Following several switchbacks and an increase in elevation, I observed an offshoot of the trail tucked behind a leafy-bush. It certainly wasn’t obvious and there were no signs to follow, but I knew that I must be close to Indian Flats Falls, so I turned right and proceeded into the forest. This was a much more difficult, albeit brief, section of the trail. If you make the hike, prepare to climb over and under downed trees, and exercise caution moving across larger, moss-covered rocks.

Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls

When I arrived at Indian Flats Falls, I was the only person on site for the next 1/2 hour. This allowed me the leisure of taking several photographs, as well as finding a seat to enjoy my packed-lunch (peanut butter sandwich, banana, energy bar, h2o).

Indian Flats Falls actually has three sections; however, the bottom section was not accessible – and, the Lower Indian Flats Falls does require a rather difficult descent.

Here’s a short video of both Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls:

Several prints of Indian Flats Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels – with customization options, allowing you to make it your own!

Here are some examples:

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post highlighting the beauty of nature, as found along the Middle Prong Trail. It certainly was a wonderful experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the area interested in hiking.

Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy the great outdoors!

Waterfall near Cades Cove, TN

Spruce Flats Falls

Nature, Photography May 8, 2019

Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains near Cades Cove in Tennessee, Spruce Flats Falls is a lesser-known though beautiful waterfall. It’s 30-feet in height, but measures 60-feet when connected sections are included.

A two mile (roundtrip) trail with helpful signage provides visitors with a scenic, albeit moderately difficult, hike, which includes elevation changes and rugged surface conditions. Here’s an example of what to expect –

Tip: wear appropriate shoes for secure footing.

Despite the need to remain attentive to ever-changing trail conditions, various sights along the way provided interesting distractions. Here are a few:

see this on Prints
see this on Prints

And a few more…

Finally, Spruce Flats Falls

The sound of distant running water grew more prominent as I increased proximity to Spruce Flats Falls. Turning the last corner along the trail, I was pleased to discover that I was the only person on site! For over an hour, I enjoyed the unobstructed sounds of nature and was able to take several photographs of the area – without people climbing around.

This all changed when, as I prepared to leave, the first of several groups of elementary school students on a field trip appeared. As is the case with many attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains, tourist destinations can become quite busy, so an early arrival time is recommended.

These pictures are available in my gallery at Pixels on a variety of print types:

Here’s a short video of Spruce Flats Falls

If you’d like to learn more about trails to hike & sights to see, then visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service. Enjoy the great outdoors!

Abrams Falls in Cades Cove, TN

Abrams Falls at Cades Cove, TN

Nature, Photography April 22, 2019

Sometimes it takes longer than expected to reach your destination, as it’s difficult not to stop to enjoy nature. Such was my experience recently while driving to Cades Cove in Tennessee, pausing to view this random roadside waterfall:

Once in Cades Cove, you’ll drive along an 11-mile road that’s a one-way loop through a valley surrounded by mountains. After crossing Abrams Creek, turn right on the gravel road (see Red Star) leading to the trailhead. Restrooms are available.

To beat the crowds – it’s one of the most popular areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Parkarrive early. I began my hike at 9:00 a.m. and encountered only three people returning on the trail, with three more taking photographs at Abrams Falls. By the time I left, dozens of people were en route.

Considered moderate in difficulty, hikers can expect to take 3-4 hours on the 5-mile roundtrip hike to Abrams Falls, which traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock-rhododendron forest along the river. The sound of running water remains constant along the trail, though elevations vary by several hundred feet.

Named for a Cherokee chief whose village once stood several miles downstream, Abrams Falls are only 20 feet high but account for a substantial volume of water.

Here’s a short video –

Gallery

Here are some beautiful landscape photographs I took while hiking in Cades Cove, along the trail to Abrams Falls

If you’d be interested in owning a print, I’ve included select photographs in my gallery at Pixels. Each is available on a variety of different print types – framed, canvas, art, wood, metal and acrylic.

Thanks for stopping by!

Twin Arches in Tennessee

On The Trail

Nature, Photography April 22, 2019

Enjoy this photography of a trail at the Twin Arches in Tennessee. Following along the contours of impressive sandstone bluffs, I was pleased to discover and explore this wonderful National Park. You can enjoy it, also – in your home or at work – by visiting my gallery at Pixels. Pick out a print and enjoy the great outdoors!

Hiking the great state of Tennessee

Concave Sandstone Bluff

Nature, Photography April 21, 2019

I photographed this interesting sandstone bluff at Twin Arches in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, in Tennessee. The concave structure provided a ceiling, of sorts, extending perhaps 30 feet. Now, you can enjoy this geological structure in your home or office, available on a variety of different print-types to suit your wishes. See my gallery at Pixels for more!

Hiking the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Top of South Arch

Nature, Photography April 20, 2019

While hiking at the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, in Tennessee, I climbed to the top of South Arch to shoot this photograph. If you’d be interested in a print, then visit my gallery at Pixels. Many print types are available for your review, as are customization options to make it your own!

Enjoy the great outdoors!

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!

Upper Peninsula Shores

Upper Peninsula Shores

Nature, Photography March 2, 2019

This landscape photograph of an expansive, rocky shoreline was taken on Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Specially, at Presque Isle in Marquette.

To see it for yourself may require extensive travel time and expense. So, instead, I’d recommend that you visit my gallery at Fine Art America to bring this coastal landscape into your home. Several print types are available, including: framed, canvas, art, wood, acrylic and metal – customize to suit your wishes.

Stop by for a visit, sometime!