It's kind of amazing how the spring, although it's one of the best times to go hiking, can leave one with so little time to do so. Between the weather, social obligations, and illness, it's been a struggle to find time to get myself out into the wild. As a result, my posts have been few and far between.
Not long after one of our southern snowfalls this winter, I set out upon the Falls Creek Falls trail, a challenging 1.5 mile hike up to an amazing waterfall. This hike is in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area of South Carolina. The recent snowfall was still in evidence on the waterfall itself, providing a unique view of the cascade.
Early in 2014, I paid a return visit to the Mountain Creek Trail in Paris Mountain State Park. Last time I was there, it was summer and the place was very green. This time, it was deep winter, and definitely not as lush. However, just as I've noted elsewhere, winter treks can be just as beautiful.
In the middle of December, as things were winding down for the holidays, I took a quick hike over at Table Rock State Park. I had taken the Carrick Creek Loop Trail a few times before, because it is a good overall hike, especially if time is limited. It is about 2 miles (1.8 miles according to guide books) and for the most part it is easy to moderate, with a few stretches of elevation change that ensure that one gets a workout. The recent rains allowed the many cascades and rapids to shine and I decided to render the images in black and white, to emphasize the textures of the subjects.
In late summer, I got a new hiking book, Explorer's Guide 50 Hikes in South Carolina: Walks, Hikes & Backpacking Trips from the Lowcountry Shores to the Midlands to the Mountains & Rivers of the Upstate, and the author spoke of a waterfall called Station Cove Falls that can be reached by way of the Oconee Station Historic Site. This area, located in upstate South Carolina, not far from my home, is one of the oldest frontier stations in the mountains.
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.
This is a relatively brief post about more of the wanderings in Kentucky that my wife and I did in August of this year. After finishing the Natural Bridge Trail, we decided to do more hiking in the area, and chose the Whittleton Trail. This trail is a 2-mile in-and-out trail that purported to be relatively easy to moderate, and it was just up from Hemlock Lodge, the center of activity in the Natural Bridge State Resort.
A few weeks ago, in late August, my wife and I took some time off. Our wanderings led us to some hiking trails in Kentucky, around the Red River Gorge area. We took an interest in the Natural Bridge State Resort (not sure what the difference is between a State Resort and a State Park, but that's neither here nor there), and decided to wander around and see the sights.
As I've done a lot of hiking in and around north Georgia and upstate South Carolina, it has become increasingly difficult to find new day hikes that fit within my schedule and conditioning. So, I picked up a new book, Hiking Georgia, by Donald Pfitzer, to see if I could find some new hikes to try. After a quick sifting through the book, I found the Angel Falls Trail, just over the South Carolina border in northeast Georgia, not far from Clayton, in Rabun County.
Yes, it's summer in Georgia, which means stifling heat, high humidity, and the strange propensity of the weather to be unpredictable. I went off to the North Georgia mountains to try the Andrews Cove Trail, which is a 2-mile in-and-out trail north of Helen, GA. I knew that there was a chance that rain would be on the playlist for this jaunt, but if I didn't try to go even with the threat of rain, I might never get my chance to get on the trail. That is especially true of this summer.