Sunday, June 1, 2008

Serenity Now!

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, poet and philosopher

After a crazy week of grading term papers, late nights, moving offices, and teaching MBA classes, I went out in such of some serenity. And with the recent rains, I thought a visit to Pine Ridge Falls in the Clark's Creek area of Unicoi Co., TN was in order. So I headed out, near dusk -- hoping to catch some good light to capture the falls. Well, I guess it hasn't rained much out in that part of the county, because as you can see, there's not too much water coming over the falls. But still it's a calming place. A serene place. That is, until Duke found something pungent to roll around in which meant it was windows down and grumbling all the way home. Arrrggh!

This isn't the tallest waterfall around, but it's fairly easy to get to - about a ten minute, easy hike. If you go, I'd recommend wearing jeans -- there's lots of poison ivy at the beginning of the trail. Fortunately, I successfully dodged all of that. While you're out that way, I suggest you also hike to Sill Branch Falls. The two falls are in close proximity to one another - and both are short hikes. The Sill Branch hike is a little bit steeper, but not necessarily any more difficult. Both hikes involve a creek crossing -- but that's not a problem when water levels are down as they are now. Click here to read Hiking Bill's description of the hike.

Directions: Take I-26 to the Erwin/Jonesborough exit #37. At the end of the ramp, turn right and take State Route 81/107 west for 6.5 miles, stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continue for 5 more miles. Turn left on Clark's Creek Road and drive 3.3 miles (the last 1.9 will be gravel) into the Cherokee National Forest to a parking area on the left (It's 0.2 miles past the parking area for Sill Branch Falls - which is also on the left). A small brown sign will indicate the trailhead for "Longarm Branch Trail". After a short hike, you'll reach the creek crossing; once across, the trail will fork -- stick to the left, the falls are just a short distance further.


  1. Mark - you have some awesome photographs on this site.

    I didn't see anything about the Soky Mountains though?


  2. Mark when are we going to go hiking together? I have some free time this week, just give me a call.
    ~AT Weeks

  3. Nice stuff Mark. Speaking of poison ivy, were you scratching after visiting the farm?

  4. Hi Jeff - I don't make it the Smokies very often -- I figure you've got that covered -- and I've got lots around here still to explore! I hope to make it that way this summer, though. You've got a great website, btw.

    Hey Aaron - yep, let's go.

    And Linda - So far I've lucked out on not getting poison ivy. I still need to show you the video I made for you!!!


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