Tag: hike

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.

Cane Creek Cascades

Nature, Photography June 6, 2019

See Part One – “Cane Creek Falls, Tennessee

Though I wish that Cane Creek had had more water during my visit to the Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Tennessee, the shallow waterline allowed me an opportunity to traverse into areas which I would otherwise not have been able to explore. With one last look towards the top edge of Cane Creek Falls, I turned to proceed onward.

Facing upstream, now, I enjoyed views which included stacked layers of sandstone outcroppings and high walls, as well as stepping stones scattered across the creek:

Turning the corner, I could see Cane Creek Cascades in the distance, as well as a person walking along the cable suspension-bridge, crossing the creek:

Here are some more photographs of Cane Creek Cascades

After a pleasant stay, the time had come to continue my adventure hiking Fall Creek Falls State Park. The trail was across the creek, so I walked along the cable suspension-bridge …

If you’d be interested in a print – or other items – featuring my photography from Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee, then please visit my gallery at Pixels. Thanks for stopping by.

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!

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!

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!

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!

Above The Frost Line

Above The Frost Line

Nature, Photography March 23, 2019

This frost-covered mountain was photographed during a recent hike to Rainbow Falls on Mount Le Conte, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Despite it being Spring, and with Knoxville (1.5 hours away) temperatures forecast in the mid-50’s, higher elevations in the mountains remained freezing. My advice to hikers during this time of year is to pack extra clothes…and bring a pair of gloves!

At the 2.7 mile marker, this short video features the 80′ waterfalls –

Enjoy the great outdoors!