I wanted to return to the River Bluff Trail, up near Norris Dam, but this time, I wanted to arrive in time to view the wildflowers. Last time I had gone, I had gotten there too late to view the wildflowers in bloom. This time, it was late March when I headed out on a chilly spring morning, and I fully expected to see at least a few flowers starting to come up.
As the seasons moved on to spring, I was looking for a new hike. After looking through some of the hikes listed in Outdoor Knoxville, I saw the River Bluff Trail, which winds along the western side of the Clinch River, just south of Norris Dam. The description mentioned this as a great opportunity to see spring wildflowers. Wildflowers are always good subjects for photographs, so that seemed like a perfect idea.
Back in early February, I decided to give the Loyston Point Recreation Area a try. There are a few trails on this peninsula that extends out into the Clinch River, most of which are multi-use (hiking and mountain biking). It was a chilly morning, but I headed off to hike the Loyston Loop Trail, a 5.4-mile trail that winds around a hill in the northwest part of the peninsula, passing by the river as it goes north, before looping back.
I discovered this gem during the late winter of 2015, and I've been back multiple times. As I made the trek back and forth between Knoxville and South Carolina, to finish the move, I passed the sign for the Seven Islands State Birding Park. The sign was just off of I-40, about 20 minutes from Knoxville. The sign indicated hiking, and I kept figuring that I'd give it a look. But it took some months before I went out there.
For a number of years now, as I've been living in the upstate South Carolina area, I had seen signs for "Chau-Ram". I kind of vaguely wondered what it was, perhaps thinking it had something to do with the Chauga River. But I never pursued it, until I read a write-up on the hiking trails available there. Turns out, Chau-Ram is a nice-sized park near the confluence of the Chauga River and Ramsey Creek; hence, Chau-Ram.