Up in the Smokies

mountain view

So, my wife and I, still on our hiking vacation, decided to take some time in the Great Smoky Mountains along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. After looking through some hiking choices, we opted to go for the Andrews Bald Trail. This trail is about 3.5 miles round trip to a peak that tops out at around 6300 feet. It is a moderate trail, with an elevation gain of about 900 feet, but it's a nice day hike.

Great Smoky Mountains
hiking trail
dead tree
mountain view
mountain view
blooming flowers

Quick Jaunt to Anna Ruby Falls

Photo of waterfall

This past week, my wife and I joined two very good friends for a walk up to Anna Ruby Falls, a two-cascade waterfall in Unicoi State Park, which is in the Chattahoochee National Forest. I've been to Anna Ruby Falls a few times in my life, as Unicoi State Park is just outside of Helen, which is only a half-hour or so from where I grew up. But, it's a good walk, and the scenery is fantastic, so I don't mind going again and again. It also happens to be the trail to the Smith Creek Trail trailhead, and I hope to take that trail again, as I haven't been on it in over ten years or so.

Photo of small cascade
Photo of cascade
Photo of mushroom
Photo of tiny mushrooms
Photo of cascade
Photo of tiny orange and red mushrooms along log
Photo of caterpillar
Photo of waterfall and bridge
Photo of millipede
Photo of right cascade
Photo of left cascade
Photo of orange flower
Photo of cascade against the flowers

Turn of the Wheel...Kinda

So, this past weekend, I went back to Oconee State Park, in South Carolina. This time, I went for the Old Waterwheel Trail, named for the spot where there used to be an old waterwheel that pumped water. The wheel is no longer there, having been moved elsewhere, but the remnants of the stone structure still remain.

Photo of trail
Photo of mushroom
Photo of steps on trail
Photo of mushroom
Photo of stone columns
Photo of stone structure
Photo of small tree
Photo of fallen logs
Photo of ferns on trail
Photo of trail
Photo of spider web
Photo of mushroom

Return to Paris Mountain

After last week's enjoyable jaunt in Paris Mountain State Park, I decided to try out one of the other hikes there. The Brissy Ridge trail is part of the network of trails throughout the park, listed as 2.3 miles round trip and on their ranking of 1-10 in terms of difficulty (10 being most strenuous), it rates as 7 and 9. It's a fairly well-traveled and well-kept trail, and there were hikers and runners along the trail.

Photo of hiking trail
Photo of tree moss
Photo of hiking trail
Photo of tree growing around boulder
Photo of moss covered rock
Photo of steps on the trail
Photo of fungi growing out of log
Photo of tree trunk
Photo of forest
Photo of fungi
Photo of bent tree

Short and Sweet Trail

Photo of mountain scenery

Been a pretty busy June, but I found an afternoon that I was able to get out to hike. I felt compelled to back to the Blood Mountain area of North Georgia. I've hiked up Blood Mountain before, and it's one of my favorite areas to go. There was no time to go up the mountain, but I figured I had time to take a quick excursion up the Byron Herbert Reece Trail, which is only about .7 miles, but it's one of the entry trails to the Appalachian Trail.

Photo of tree roots in dry creek bed
Photo of creek bed
Photo of ferns along trail
Photo of stone "steps" on the trail
Photo of mountain landscape
Photo of boulders
Photo of boulders
Photo of lichen
Photo of mushroom
Photo of intertwined trees
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