Saturday, August 30, 2014
There's not much information out there for this one. Firescald Branch Falls is a series of cascades found in the Frog Level area of Dennis Cove in Carter County, TN. While it's a long drive to get there, the good news is that it's not much of a hike. However, you will encounter thick rhododendrons on the trail, which will make climbing up the falls a challenge (and a workout). But it's worth the effort. I see from the photos linked below that I stopped short of the their tier of waterfalls here, so I'll have to go back out. I went as far as I thought the trail went, but it appears there's one more cascade beyond what I saw.
Check out Wendell Dingus' nice images of these cascades. GPS info here.
Directions: Drive up Dennis Cove Road to Frog Level. I have detailed directions and a map here. Once at the parking area for Frog Level, look to the left and you'll see a trail closely following the stream into the rhododendrons. It is probably no more than 100 feet up the trail that you'll see the first cascade. Continue on, pushing through the rhododendron thickets, and you'll discover more beautiful scenes. This is a fairly small stream, so you'll want to visit after a good rain.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
|One of the meadows found at Frog Level|
|Laurel Fork after a rain|
|Small Pond found in Frog Level|
|The old road can be muddy!|
With all the creek crossings, this is only recommended as a summertime hike!
I'm still learning about this area! If you have advice or suggestions, please leave a comment and let us know.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American writer and philosopher.
other balds closer to Carvers Gap do.... which, is perhaps, its greatest allure. :) The day we visited we only saw two other people the entire time we were up on the mountain. It was a foggy, windy day and the 'feel' of the place was constantly changing -- alternating from brilliant sunshine to thick fog. My edits to the top photo above are a bit over the top, but I wanted to convey the drama of being on this gorgeous summit. This expansive mountain-top meadow, filled with summer wildflowers, offers spectacular views in every direction. Little Hump Mountain is really a magical place.
Getting to this magic can be tough. This place is remote! You feel really isolated (in a good way) when you're standing on its 5440' summit. Of course, the AT through the Roan Highlands is wildly popular with section hikers, who often will be dropped off at Highway 19E near the TN/NC border, and then take two days to hike to Carvers Gap -- or if a longer section hike is desired, they hike until picked up at Uncle Johnny's Hostel next to the Nolichucky River in Erwin. (Read Hiking Bill's account of hiking from Carver's Gap to 19E). I've had many thru-hikers tell me that the section from Roan Mountain to Grayson Highlands in VA is their favorite section of the entire Appalachian Trail. The Roan Highlands are indeed spectacular.
Overmountain Shelter to see your options for getting here. To hike in from Carvers Gap or 19E is really too far and demanding for most day hikers. (Click here to read Hiking Bill's account of his one day, out-and-back 14.2 mile trek from 19E to Little Hump). We got there driving to the end of Roaring Creek Road on the NC side of the mountain. From there we hiked up to Yellow Mountain Gap (after peaking in on the Overmountain Shelter), turned right and headed north on the AT to Little Hump. It's a climb! Grueling at times - but always beautiful. Unfortunately we didn't make it all the way to Big Hump Mountain -- so that will have to be another day. Click here for a topo Map of Little Hump and vicinity. The photo to the left was taken on our way back to Yellow Mountain Gap, if you click and enlarge it, look closely and you'll see the Overmountain Shelter in the distance.
Monday, August 4, 2014
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist.
Above: A twisting tree found on Hump Mountain in the Roan Highlands.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Above: My friend, Peter, taking in the view from the Overmountain Shelter along the Appalachian Trail. Click here to check out Peter's photography.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Tweetsie Trail, connecting Johnson City to Elizabethton, TN, set to open with an inaugural Walk/Run/Bike on Saturday, August 30, 2014 (Labor Day weekend). My first post describing the Tweetsie had images of the trail from the Milligan Depot to Elizabethton. The photos today are from the Johnson City end of the trail. It's still not completed, but it's almost there.
It's better than I ever imagined it would be -- I know it's going to get a lot of use. People are really going to love having a long flat, largely uninterrupted trail for biking, jogging and walking. I see lots of smiles and hear lots of "This is amazing" comments from the people I've passed on the trail. I'm impressed with the thoughtful planning and the quality of the work that has gone into this project. If you'd like to take part in the inaugural event, click the link above to sign up and register. Click here to like the Facebook Page.
Click here to see the the Tweesie in action in 1949! You can ride a train pulled by the last surviving coal fired locomotive used on the Tweetsie at a theme park located between Blowing Rock and Boone, NC, appropriately named "The Tweetsie Railroad." Another place to experience the old railroad is at Doe River Gorge, a Christian Campground that provides its campers with a train ride out to Pardee Point, a narrow overlook of the Doe River with sheer rock walls rising hundreds of feet above the narrow passage. Fast forward this video to 5:30 to see that section of the old railroad line. Doe River Gorge typically has an open house each October where the public is invited to take a ride on the train. Below is the curving, re-purposed (almost complete) bridge over University Parkway in Johnson City.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
|The view as you arrive at the Barn.|
|The side view showing the open sleeping porch|
DIRECTIONS: There are many ways to get to there....
|The sleeping loft|
If you prefer starting a little closer...
|The fantastic view from the Shelter|
|The view from the porch|
|Overmountain Trail at Yellow Mountain Gap|
|Forest Service Road leading to Overmountain Shelter|
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
--Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) American educator and reformer.
Monday, July 28, 2014
--Thomas Paine (1737-1809) English-American political activist, philosopher, author, political theorist and revolutionary.
Had a wonderful time shooting the final performance of "Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals" this weekend. As always, I was impressed with the dedication, professionalism and talent of the performers in their reenactment of the settling of this region. Click here for more photos.
To learn more about the drama and how to get involved in next year's performance, click here.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
--Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher.
Above: Rocky Fork after a rain.
Here is a terrific resource on Rocky Fork from the Monkey's Mask. Lots of descriptions, maps, links and beautiful photos to explore.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
The first phase of the Tweetsie Trail is scheduled to be opened to the public with an inaugural Walk/Run on Saturday, August 30, 2014 (Labor Day weekend). The
trail follows the old "Tweetsie" railroad line connecting Johnson City to Elizabethton, TN. The first phase is 4.5 miles long, but when the entire project is complete it will be 10 miles long.
The trail itself is fantastic -- very wide, with compacted, fine gravel perfect for walking, jogging and bike riding. Along the way, you'll traverse through beautiful woodland settings and farms and over bridges. This project has been years in its planning and execution and will provide great recreational opportunities to the residents of both communities.
Pictured (above left) is a replica of the original Milligan depot that stood about a half mile from the College. It will eventually have a bench and signage.
inagural trek, click here.
Additional photos can be found on the Tweetsie Trail Facebook page.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Bristol, TN is home to Steele Creek Park, the third largest municipal park in the state of Tennessee. Occupying over 2200 acres, the park has a 52 acre lake, a golf course, numerous picnic shelters, amphitheater, conference center and 24 miles of trails. The park recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The above photo shows a bench overlooking the lake and Nature Center in the distance. Click here and here for more information.