Unseasonably hot weather and sunny skies found us heading to the most popular waterfall this area has to offer which is Elk River Falls also called Big Falls. Their popularity is not due to their size although they are an impressive 45′ tall with a very large pool at the bottom, but rather for their easy access. You can drive right to them and see the top right from your car. A short 5 minute hike will take you right to the base of the falls. I have seen videos of kayaker’s going right over them which is impressive but there were none there on this Sunday. I also forgot my good camera in the car that my girlfriend drove out of state that morning so had to use my old one which did not take very good pics but on the other hand the sun was way too intense for any good shots anyway so I will definitely be coming back here soon.
Elk River Falls (Big Falls)
Please be aware that there have been injuries and deaths occur here as the strong, unpredictable currents at the base of the falls can be very dangerous not to mention the dangers of jumping in the wrong spot. A young teen lost his life here not long ago when he was swimming (not diving) near the falls and his leg became entangled in some fishing line and he drowned. It took 3 days to recover his body so please use caution at all times.
Posted on 30 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 4 Comments.
I went on a short Saturday afternoon drive down in the country and ended up in the Shelton Church / Mission area and decided to check out the trail head for the Bullen hollow/Spruce Thicket/Margerite falls trails. I haven’t been there in many years and like everywhere else it too has undergone some changes. You can no longer drive in there but rather have to park at a new parking lot and walk past a new gate for about a half mile before you reach the intersection of trails. They also no longer allow motorcycles on the Bullen Hollow trail (much to Tyler’s disappointment). Although we were only .7 miles from Margerite falls it was too late to start that trek but we did walk to the start of the trail and back for some much needed exercise. The bugs were already out and very annoying. We then drove on further to get a view of Viking mountain and Blackstack cliffs before heading home. Was a very nice day for a Saturday drive in the country as lots of things are blooming right now.
Posted on 26 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. No Comments.
Beauty Spot located on Unaka mountain is one of my favorite places to go around here. Not only because it is fairly easy to access, but it is such a wonderful place to enjoy nature’s beauty. It was a clear day and signs of Spring were abundant so we decided to go there to enjoy the views and hopefully catch an incredible sunset. There were no clouds in the sky which made the bright sun way too intense for quality sunset photos using my camera, but the view from there is worth seeing regardless of the picture quality. I hope you enjoy them.
Sunset from Beauty Spot
Posted on 24 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 1 Comment.
After a busy weekend of going to several waterfalls (see previous blogs) , I decided to take a short trip on Easter Sunday to see the Blue Hole Falls in Carter county. It was another very hot and sunny day making it too bright for quality waterfall pics but I managed to get a few acceptable shots. It was more crowded than I expected but we did have a good time as it is a great place to be with several really nice waterfalls, cliffs, and cascades. I am sure I will be going back soon to get some better photos. Until then, enjoy these !
Blue Hole Falls
Posted on 20 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. No Comments.
After a scouting trip on 2-20-2010 by my son Tyler, and myself, at which time we located the lower Simmons Branch falls (frozen at that time) and the best route around them, I have been itching to go back and continue on to find the middle and upper falls that I have heard about. We finally got the opportunity, so another record breaking hot, early Spring day found us heading up the trail by a little after 11 am on a fine Saturday morning. Due to turkey hunting season and the warm weather, the gates are now open so there were plenty of people in the woods however none to be found in the Simmons Branch hollow. We did encounter a vast swarm of sweat bees the entire day that were very annoying. Perhaps they were as excited (and hungry) to see Spring finally here as we were ? It did not take long to make it to the lower falls (35 ft) (which were not frozen this time) and still had plenty of water flowing from them. Bol’Dar had not been here before so this was an exciting trip for him as the middle and upper falls were to be for all of us.
Simmons Branch Falls (lower)
Posted on 20 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 2 Comments.
Can you believe it’s April already ? Another hot, record breaking day so my son Tyler and I decided to head to Clark’s Creek to check out some of the many waterfalls found there. It was Good Friday so he was out of school but since I worked late the morning before we got our usual late start of nearly 4 pm. We decided to take the Hell Hollow trail up to the waterfalls there.
Hell Hollow Falls
Posted on 15 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 1 Comment.
To celebrate our 6th year anniversary, my girlfriend Linda and myself, along with my son Tyler, went back to where we were nearly 6 years ago which is Damascus, Virginia. We stopped at Backbone falls for awhile to get some pics of the falls and the swimming holes in that area so I thought I would share them here.
Posted on 9 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 1 Comment.
Second day of Spring and still warm weather but some approaching clouds and a lazy Sunday made me want to go on a short trip somewhere so I chose to go to Millstone falls since I have not gotten any photos of them since getting my new camera. My girlfriend Linda, my son Tyler, and I made it there from my house in about 15 minutes as they are close by and not far from the road. The water levels were still decent and despite the bright light I managed to get a few nice shots.
To see more pics of these falls please visit the Photo Gallery.
Trail Maintenance Trip:
I was contacted by my fellow trail worker Doug Corkhill that he was planning a trip to Big Bald to do a walk-though of his trail section to get an accurate assessment of the blow-downs and storm damage situation and clear what could be moved. He is always courteous enough to pick me up in Spivey Gap so I can walk from Big Bald over to Little Bald where my section begins and then proceed downhill to Spivey Gap to the other end of my section. This makes it much easier and shorter distance than going from bottom to top and back and I appreciate him going the extra distance to make this possible. This time we took a different route to access Wolf Laurel from the backside which saved us several miles of driving as well as some time. We also stopped on the way to see the Big Creek falls that were kickin’ some major butt that day.
Big Creek Falls (North Carolina)
Posted on 8 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 1 Comment.
The first day of Spring found me and my gang (this time including my g/f Linda, Daisy the dog, my son Tyler and friend Bol’Dar) on our way to Laurel Falls on the Appalachian Trail. We started fairly early that morning and it was an surprisingly very cold start compared to the day before when we baked ourselves out on the Monkeyhead Rocks, but it did warm up considerably by the afternoon. Starting in Hampton, we took the blue blaze trail through the rocky gorge all the way to the falls. It was a very bright day so getting good pics of the water was out of the question but it was a good day to be out walking and enjoying nature.
We passed a work crew out sawing blow-downs and doing trail work which is always good thing to see. We appreciate all the hard work the volunteers do for the trails. We plan a work trip to my trail section as soon as the snows melt some.
Posted on 7 April '10 by admin, under RATtreks. 2 Comments.