Tag: geology

Alum Cave Bluffs In Tennessee

Nature, Photography June 30, 2019

About

The 2.3 mile trail to Alum Cave Bluffs is located in the Smoky Mountains, approx. 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s the shortest and steepest of 5 different trails to Mount Le Conte.

Originally mined in 1838 by the Epsom Salts Manufacturing Company for deposits of magnesium sulfate & alum, it’s now a popular hiking area with limited parking – one should plan to arrive early; or, park along the road some distance away.

Water

At lower elevations, the trail meanders alongside the Alum Cave Creek, providing a pleasant and constant sound of running water throughout the forest.

Here are a few photographs –

Arch Rock

At 1.4 miles along the trail, hikers have the opportunity to pass through a natural tunnel in the side of the mountain – at Arch Rock. A series of steps with a cable handrail make this a fun, navigable passageway.

Here are some photographs –

Eye of The Needle

As hikers continue up the trail, the sound of water fades and glimpses of the surrounding mountains begin to appear between the trees. Inspiration Point is situated at 4,700′, which, on a clear day, provides an unobscured view of the surrounding landscape, most notably Little Duck Hawk Ridge – which features the Eye of the Needle (a see-through hole cut into the side of the ridge). It is in this area, if you’re lucky, that you might see Peregrine Falcons.

Here are a few shots –

More Scenes From The Trail

Note: it’s not really a cave. Rather, large sandstone bluffs standing 80′ tall, extending 500′ in length, with a substantial ceiling-overhang.

Prints

If your home or office has an empty wall, please consider purchasing a print – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood or acrylic – from my gallery at Pixels. Customization options are available to make it your own! Other items to see, also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Interesting Geological Structure

Nature, Photography June 20, 2019

I photographed this interesting geological structure while hiking in Tennessee, at Piney Falls State Natural Area. Located on the ceiling of an overhang from a gorge-wall, these outcroppings represent the end result of erosion, where small amounts of water seeping through sandstone over time have deposited minuscule amounts of mineral – creating these downward structures – before succumbing to gravity; whereby a scattered array of indentations in the hardened ground may be observed.

Or, so it seems. I’m not a geologist, but do sell photographic prints at Pixels.

Drop by for a visit, sometime!

Piney Falls Gorge Trail

Nature, Photography June 19, 2019

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.

Visit my gallery at Pixels for more.

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!

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