Archive for February, 2013

Camp Creek Falls – 2-14-2013

The Camp Creek Falls has been on my list for quite some time now and I finally got around to making the trip to find them on Valentines Day. My friend Dave had already been there once before a couple years ago and knew the way so I asked him to show me. He is also good at getting permission to cross private property which was required for this particular route we would take to reach the falls however, we were instructed by the property owner that we should not ask again that we should find an alternative route in the future. I had invited Bol’Dar to go with us on this adventure but he was unable to go so Dave and I left Hairnt-Quarters around 9am on a near freezing, frosty morning and arrived at the Baptist Church Camp (The Oaks Retreat) by 10am. After gaining permission to park there we proceeded to walk up the gravel road which eventually becomes a driveway for the private property at the end of the road, we were approached by several large dogs barking loudly and they were definitely on the defensive. We were quickly greeted by the owners grandson who was also defensive and very interested in our business there and asked if we had permission. Dave worked his magic and we were granted access to the property in order to cross and get to the forest service land which lies directly behind the house there. The guy was nice enough after learning we only wanted to see the falls but upon our return did ask that we not come back across his property again in the future to find another way to the falls. We do respect the rights of all property owners and always get permission if possible before crossing any private property because not only is it the right thing to do morally, but is also the legal thing to do. You must also take into consideration the fact that many property owners have blocked all access to so many waterfalls due to people who did not respect the property owners rights by trespassing and others have also trashed some really nice places, not to mention ignoring safety and getting seriously injured or even falling to their deaths resulting in many falls now being off limits to everyone. So, please get permission and always be careful and leave the area the same or better than you found it.

camp creek falls

Camp Creek Falls (231 feet)


Posted on 27 February '13 by , under RATtreks. 1 Comment.

Sill Branch Overlook (MonkeyHead Rocks) and Upper Falls – 2-9-2013

It had already been 10 days since my last hiking adventure, mainly due to the weather so, I was more than ready for a hike somewhere. The weather forecasters were promising a sunny day with near 50 degree temps on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 after a cold start in the low 20’s so I decided I was gonna take advantage of it and go hiking somewhere since who knows how long it would be before the next chance would come along. Also our friend ‘Dan-O the Man-O‘ had informed me that he was available for a hike on that day along with my friend Bol’Dar who also said he would go along on this adventure. Our first choice was to be a long uphill hike to the Buzzard Rock Overlook but Dan-O needed to get back by 4ish pm so we knew that was not possible which prompted us to change our plans to go to the Sill Branch Overlook aka The MonkeyHead Rocks. Since that is a short hike and due to the water levels being decent, we chose to lengthen the hike by going to the Upper Sill Branch Falls. That is quite a hike within itself and to prevent having to backtrack down from the Overlook the way we came and starting over, we decided we would take a shortcut straight down the incredibly steep ridge directly into the Sill Branch Valley ! This is an extreme off trail descent and not for the faint of heart and is only recommended for seasoned extreme hikers. We left Hairnt-Quarters around 9am and were leaving the trail-head at Sill Branch by 9:30am.

sill branch overlook

View from the Sill Branch Overlook (looking at Sampson Mountain)


Posted on 14 February '13 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.

Buckeye Falls Via Chigger Ridge – 1-29-2013

It has been almost two years since our last trip to Chigger Ridge which was in March of 2011 and our waterfall enthusiast friend Dave Aldridge has been itching to get a glimpse of Buckeye Falls so we decided that since we have gotten some decent amounts of rain and snow recently that we would take him to the only place where you can see most of the falls in their entirety. It was a chilly Tuesday morning when my friend Bol’Dar, Dave, and myself left Hairnt-Quarters in route to this surreal location. I decided to take a slightly different approach on this trip having come to the conclusion that it is shorter and somewhat easier to get to Bearwallow Gap on Rich Mountain via the Higgins Creek Trail rather than the usual trek up Longarm Ridge Trail from Clarks Creek. This turned out to be true as it did shave off some distance and quite a bit of time in getting to the gap, not to mention the trail is much smoother overall with less rocky parts compared to the Longarm Ridge Trail. It only took us an hour and forty five minutes to get from the car to Bearwallow Gap. There was plenty of water coming out of Higgins Creek so the numerous falls you pass along that route were very spectacular although,  it was not too high (like our last trip there) to make the creek crossings difficult.

buckeye falls

Bol’Dar, RAT, and Dave on Chigger Ridge with Buckeye Falls and Wilson Knob in the background


Posted on 6 February '13 by , under RATtreks. 4 Comments.