Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Meadow Creek Firetower and Gum creek loop nice 6 mile hike close to del rio

It only took us 1 hour and 3 minutes to get from Straw Plains pike in Knoxville to our trail destination: Houston Valley campground which was on a state highway  (101 or 107 :)  )  off 25East   We only drove 14 miles out of Newport then took a left and went about 5 miles and stopped at the campground.  Across the street is the trail head saying Gumtree and it is nice trail (keep straight at first intersection, then hiked up little steep at times but not bad to an intersection where you can see its a nice trail for even little mountain biking. We took a left to head up to meadow creek road and fire tower.  This section in the winter time made it easy to see way out over the valley and it was great.    Then we hit the forest road and took a right and walked half mile or more up to the tower.  Great 360 views made the climb well worth it. We hiked back down the road a few miles then took left on the gum creek connector trail and ended up back at our cars.  Nice nice hike ! https://rcpt.hightail.com/2702688056/795e688d5f9d144e75cdb3e3f018a496?cid=tr-1001013  Here is video that photog Jerry Owens took on our hike.  

missy

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fit & Fun Destination Fontana to Snowbird Lodge

It is a treat to get to add a little "fit and fun" adventure get away every 3-4 months.  And this fall was the perfect time to plan a two stop trip to the mountains.   After the Get on Trail w/ Friends & MIssy fall series finished, many hikers took advantage of a great hikers rate at Fontana Village.  The lodge there is comfy and clean plus the FOOD is awesome.  I have never had a bad meal there and everyone agreed.



















Then to celebrate to good friends B-days early and one who is a trooper to keep on keeping on the trail despite some health set backs we took off over 129 to Joyce Kilmar National forest and The Snowbird Lodge.   This area is so so pretty and the 129 drive from Fontana to Joyce Kilmer was beautiful and not too too curvy.  The big national forest has some Gigantic old growth still looking strong and the trails there very pretty.   A few of us LOVE love to bike on the Cherohayla parkway and the Big Big Treat was staying at the Snowbird Lodge in Robinsville.  I would say this is the nicest, prettiest bed and breakfast spot I have had the privilege to stay in overnight.    The views, the lawn the summer house patio, the accommodations, and food all WONDERFUL.    Its right where the Cherohayla parkway ends and it's worth the drive.

Fabulous Fall Creek Falls

I was blown away with how big and beautiful Fall Creek Falls state park is, & so glad family and friends got to visit for a few days on New Years.    The nature center was impressive and the ranger there (john) very helpful.  The waterfalls were amazing as there are 4 gorgeous ones we saw and think there are a few more.   The Fisherman cabins were so cool right over the water and had plenty of room for affordable price.  I want to go back and take my bike next time and hopefully you can paddle board on the lovely lake too?  www.tnstateparks.com is website to find more about this park and others    While it was a super spot to hike, I'd be careful with little ones to keep them close as many areas could be dangerous for kids if they are not careful to stay close to an adult.  And dogs welcomed on leashes but again, keep them a leash or they could easily venture out too far on some rocky edges.   

















Saturday, November 1, 2014

Get on Trail w/ Friends & MIssy Super Fall series 2014

Great end of the fall series called Get on Trail with Friends and MIssy     Its the 16 year for our series and its so fun to see folks getting fit, staying fit while benefitting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park thru Friends of the Smokies.    We were blessed with 5 great Wednesday hikes and only the last one had a little rain but we lucked out with dry weather once we got on the trail.

























 The hikes we did were Andrews Bald w/ side trail to Boiler, then Grotto Falls up to Brushy Mountain, next Abrams Falls to Hatcher Mnt , then Elkmont to Tremont thanks to Rocky Top Tours, lastly AT from Fontana Dam to Shuck Stack Tower   The five hikes helped bring in close to 5,000 for Friends of the smokies thru our hikes and these sponsors 
Knoxville News Sentinel, Home Federal, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports 
Farmers Bureau (Sam Curtis), Gatlinburg Falls, Fontana Village and ET PBS  plus thanks to the Call Center at Covenant Health for assisting with sign ups and to all our Rangers and VIP folks leading the way and keeping us safe!  Our main leaders and Sweeps this fall were Ed Fleming and Ray Sellers and we enjoyed our Friends Staff and GSMNP assistance too!   Great times.. good hikes.