Tag: outdoors

Mountain Landscape

Mountain Landscape

Nature, Photography February 6, 2019

This landscape photograph features a rocky outcropping on House Mountain, located near Knoxville, Tennessee. The mountain stands 1000′ above the surrounding valley. It has two different trails to the top, leading to a 1.5 mile ridge extending from end to end, which offers wonderful panoramic-views. The scene here is located along the White Trail which finishes at the West Overlook.

If you’d be interested in a print, then visit my gallery at Fine Art America. Enjoy!

Boulders Along The Trail

Boulders Along The Trail

Nature, Photography February 2, 2019

During my 1-mile hike along a trail at House Mountain, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, an increased frequency of larger boulders became more commonplace. Looking uphill, I photographed this picturesque setting of several such boulders. If you’d be interested in a print for your home, office, or as a gift for family or friends, then visit my gallery at Fine Art America. Enjoy the great outdoors!

Down The Mountain

Down The Mountain

Nature, Photography February 1, 2019

As part of my House Mountain in Knoxville, TN series…

Part Four: Conclusion

It was a great day hiking House Mountain, and I certainly would recommend this as a day-trip for anyone in the area wishing to enjoy the great outdoors! Bring the proper clothing, water and camera – and prepare to rest along the way to fully enjoy the scenery. And, expect to be sore the next day!

 Following 4 miles of hiking up the Mountain Trail (blue trail) and back-and-forth along the Crest Trail, I began the 1-mile decent down the mountain. Here are some photographs I took along the way…

It’s difficult to see, but if you look closely at Photograph 3 & Photograph 4, you’ll observe that the trail turns abruptly at times, usually associated with steep, rocky terrain. In a few instances, I had to pack my camera in order to free both hands for a safe descent around such turns on the trail. So, be careful!

Visiting House Mountain –

If you’d like to review my collection of House Mountain photographs as prints, then stop by my gallery at Fine Art America to have a look around! Thanks.

I plan to return to the mountain for another hike, probably along a different (red) trail…so, see you then!

East Overlook On Crest Trail

East Overlook On Crest Trail

Nature, Photography January 31, 2019

As part of my House Mountain in Knoxville, TN series…

Part Three: East Overlook

With a storm-front expected to produce 1-2″ of snow the following day, I took advantage of a low-50’s, sunny forecast to enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking to the top of the Mountain Trail (blue trail), the East Overlook is a short 0.7 miles in each direction and provided a scenic setting…

Continuing uphill, interesting rock formations peppered the landscape, reinforcing the decision to bring my camera along for the hike. Here are some more photographs as I approached the East Overlook

I’ve included this short video to provide visitors with a panoramic view from the top of House Mountain:

After relaxing for a while to appreciate the scenery, I headed back toward the Mountain Trail (blue trail), observing various areas of interest along the way – such as:

I’ve uploaded some of these photographs to my gallery at Fine Art America, now available as prints – check it out!

West Overlook On Crest Trail

West Overlook On Crest Trail

Nature, Products January 30, 2019

As part of my House Mountain in Knoxville, TN series…

Part Two: West Overlook

The Mountain Trail (blue trail) finishes at the 1-mile marker, where the Crest Trail begins. It’s a 1.5 mile trail along the mountain ridge, and I opted first to visit the West Overlook, which measures 0.8 miles in each direction.

Unlike the ascent, which featured some very steep and roughed terrain, the West Overlook trail is a relatively flat, sandy route. Here are a few photographs which I took along the walk…

If you’d be interested in a print for your home or office, please visit my gallery at Fine Art America. Several print types are available – framed, canvas, art, acrylic, wood and metal. Thanks for stopping by!

House Mountain in Knoxville, TN - Part One

House Mountain in Knoxville, TN – Part One

Nature, Photography January 29, 2019

Part One: The Ascent

House Mountain is located in Corryton, Tennessee, just 10 miles northeast of Knoxville, and, at 2,110 feet above sea level, it’s the highest elevation in Knox County. The actual mountain stands 1,000 feet above the surrounding valley floor, with a few different trails available for hikers to select. I chose the Mountain Trail (blue trail), which is 1 mile long.

 The following photographs are available as prints in my gallery at Fine Art America, and provide a fair representation (in sequence) of the challenging terrain along the trail.

Despite a strenuous climb lasting for approximately 1 hour until I reached the 1-mile marker on the trail, the views along the way were wonderful! Huge boulders were strewn along the mountainside and, looking up, it sometimes appeared to be impossibly steep, where the mountain seemed to be leaning uncomfortably forward – a dizzying view!

The Crest Trail sign shown above reads as follows –

The Crest Trail traverses the top of the mountain and is 1.5-miles long from overlook to overlook, winding along the top of the ridge partly on public and partly on private land. At each end of the Crest Trail you can enjoy a splendid view. The approach to the East End Overlook winds through many large boulders. The East End Overlook provides a view of Clinch Mountain, the parent of House Mountain, and the ridge and valley toward Blaine and Rutledge. The West End Overlook provides a great view of Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Cumberland Mountains out toward Oak Ridge.

I first headed toward the West Overlook, took in the sights and then returned. Next, I hiked to the East Overlook – which, in my opinion and despite the aforementioned accolades, is a much more scenic & preferred location – before descending the Mountain Trail (blue trail) back to the car. Altogether, it was a 5-mile hike at a level of exertion certain to leave me sore by morning!

The hike was a slow process, with matters of proper footing a real concern along the way. Steep drops in close proximity to the trail were a good reminder to always remain cautious. Rocks and roots served as steps in many areas, and wet spots from a few different springs were observed. In a few instances, trails diverted to skirt around large fallen trees, though most of the hiking was ‘obstacle-free’.

In the days ahead, I’ll provide more photographs from this outing – so, stay tuned…

UPDATE: Additional links regarding House Mountain in Knoxville, TN –

Hiking Knoxville, Tennessee

Nature, Photography January 24, 2019

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 –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

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 –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

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 –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Enjoy the great outdoors in Knoxville, Tennessee!

Ijams Nature Center In Knoxville, TN

Nature, Photography January 9, 2019

I recently visited Mead’s Quarry Lake, part of the Ijams Nature Center, a 315-acre park along the Tennessee River in Knoxville, where I hiked various trails for a few hours. One of my favorites was the Ross Marble Quarry Loop, which included the Keyhole. A sign along the trail read:

If you take the time to look around, you will find large blocks of limestone strewn about this abandoned quarry pit and the wall that surrounds the Keyhole. Operations began in the early 1900s on the property originally known as the John M. Ross Quarry. The quarrying involved removing overburden, drilling the marble to form large blocks, prying the blocks from the rock face, lifting them using derricks and cables and transporting them out for cutting and polishing elsewhere.

Additional information included the following:

Mead’s Quarry Rail Line. FYI Railcars moved the large marble blocks to the nearby Tennessee River along rail spurs via adjacent Mead’s Quarry. During the 1920s, operations shifted to the Williams Lime Manufacturing Company, which is an indication that the large-scale marble extraction had tapered off.

When I came across the area called the Keyhole, I looked down to see a pathway leading to two sets of stairs. Recent rains had left the ground damp and the clay-mud dangerously slick. And, with moss growing everywhere, I decided to proceed with caution.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Winding my way across ledges, over rocks and around puddles, I could finally see the Keyhole at the base of a 40′ wall of stacked rocks. It was an impressive sight to be sure, no small undertaking.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Standing at the entrance, I felt small among the many massive boulders. The passageway itself was probably 7′ from floor to ceiling, a scale not apparent in these pictures.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

On the other side, I encountered Sasquatch! Just kidding, but there were surprises around every corner. I was greeted by the sun brightening the surrounding landscape, and I descended a series of steps toward the bottom of the quarry.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Standing in the middle of the forest while surrounded by walls made of large blocks of limestone was certainly an unusual and interesting way to spend the afternoon. And I wasn’t alone, either, meeting several people who were also visiting the area for their first time. Which brings me to my advice – if you have time, the weather is decent and you’re in the area, I suspect you’ll enjoy hiking this quarry!

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

I’d also recommend hiking the Haworth Hollow trail – more on that another time…

Lakeshore Park In Knoxville, TN

Nature, Photography January 8, 2019

I recently visited Lakeshore Park in Knoxville, Tennessee, along the Tennessee River. With 185 acres, there’s plenty of open space to enjoy the many walking paths throughout the park. And, several big hills provide for nice views of the river and the Smoky Mountains in the distance.

Here are a few photographs from my visit: