The transition from South Carolina to Tennessee is proceeding apace, but I figured I'd toss in this last South Carolina "hike". It was really just a brief stroll through Town Creek Park's series of trails. According to SCTrails, part of this series of trails follows the route of a train system used by the Appalachian Lumber Company, in the '20s. Town Creek Park is in Pickens, SC, not far from the main part of the city itself, but it still provides a "walk in the woods" type feel.
There are big changes happening in my life, and I'm preparing to open up possibilities for new places to explore. My wife and I are in the process of moving to Knoxville, Tennessee. Although that means that I won't be hiking around the South Carolina and north Georgia areas as I have for some years now, the Great Smoky Mountains are right nearby. As an example of the kinds of new places opening up for hiking and photography, this post is about a hike in the Smokies taken earlier this summer.
For the next hike with Clemson librarians, we decided to head to Rainbow Falls, in Jones Gap State Park. This is a repeat hike for me and was for at least one of the other hikers in the group. But, Rainbow Falls is such a gorgeous spot, it is worth repeated visits. This hike, about 5 miles round trip, is relatively strenuous, but the view at the end takes one's breath away.
While building staff profiles for the Clemson Libraries staff web resources, I noted that many bios involved hiking as a particular interest. Since that's also an interest of mine, I've been building a hiking group of library faculty and staff. I had gone with a couple of colleagues to Blood Mountain in Georgia last fall, but we're starting to attract a larger group of core hikers. This time, we went to the Winding Stairs Trail, north of Walhalla. I had been here before, but the rest of the group had never been.
On the first weekend of April, I decided to head up to the Table Rock summit again. Last time, it was in the middle of autumn, but this time, spring was just starting to make itself felt. So, the foliage wasn't as lush as before, and the weather still had a little bit of a chill in it. This 3.5 mile hike up the mountain is relatively challenging, although the downward trip is a bit more taxing on my aging knees.
February in the upstate South Carolina area was a wintry one, indeed. The university was either closed or delayed multiple times, due to the ice and snow. After one of these winter storms, with the temperature going up and the sun coming out, I took a brief trip back to Station Cove Falls. This time, rather than starting out from the Oconee Station State Historical Site parking area, I went directly to the alternate trailhead, just down from the entrance.
Recently, I was looking through some of my photos, and I found some images from a trip I took in the late fall of 2014 along the Sourwood Trail in north Georgia, around Lake Russell. I had almost forgotten that I had taken this hike, not because it wasn't enjoyable, but just because things had been very busy on my weekends, and it just got lost.I went along the trail the opposite direction from last time, but overall, the trip went very much like the last one.
I've been on the Sulphur Springs Trail in both the summer and winter, so why not fall? It is my favorite season of the year, after all. So, on a Saturday in October, I headed up to Paris Mountain for another hike. I decided to do the entire trail, not just up to the fire tower and back; this trail is a 3.5-mile loop, and by Paris Mountain standards, it's one of the most strenuous ones.