It doesn't get much better than this....

9:59 a.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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I recently spent a couple days in one of my favorite watershed areas along the Cumberland Plateau Escarpment in TN.

I just wanted to share the view I had while enjoying a cup of coffee.



This is the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge, it has made a significant recovery from acid mine drainage due to coal mining in the area. The stream is starting to support aquatic life again after the closing of the mining operations. The area is very popular with hikers & kayakers and is one of the first places I started backpacking in the early 80's.

Hope you enjoy the view!

10:48 a.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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Looks pretty nice down there was it warm?

2:17 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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Ambient temp was 22F Gary, as always there was a stiff breeze the whole time, I'm not sure what the wind chill factor was. But it was warmer out on those big rocks in the sunlight, and I often sit out on rocks by a stream while eating or just thinking.

It's good to just clear your mind every once in a while...you know?

My wife says I clear mine too much.

2:30 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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My type of surroundings. I go to a State Park up here(Ohiopyle)although I am not much of a "park camper" but if ya get off the beaten path I have found it rather easy to get away from society. I typically go out to get away so the backcountry is where ya can usually find me. Anyways, nice pic. There is nothing like waking up when the sun is coming up on an Autumn morning with frost on the ground and the first thing ya here is the stream... Very therapeutic.

Ohiopyle State Park-Chalk Hill Pa.



Not my pics but just a few to give a general idea of the area. 19,000+acres. I grew up in this area and know it very well.

4:44 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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I fly ro Tri city airport a couple of times a year where is a good place to trout fish in the area Mohoney's is purty tight lipped? Trouthunter

6:54 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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Nice view Trout. Looks like a nice get-away.

8:33 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
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Wow where did the pics go...hmmmm, well never the less if ya want to see them check out the my page.

1:41 p.m. on January 3, 2010 (EST)
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I fly ro Tri city airport a couple of times a year where is a good place to trout fish in the area Mohoney's is purty tight lipped? Trouthunter

Are you talking about Johnson City (TN) area where Mohoney's is the outfitter?

1:18 p.m. on January 4, 2010 (EST)
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Nice picture, Trouthunter. Thanks for sharing it.

Rick, I added links to your pictures. Hope they were the right ones you wanted to post. It looked like the images didn't have the exact url of their location the first time.

12:20 p.m. on January 5, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks Alicia. It happens.

2:46 p.m. on January 8, 2010 (EST)
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I prefer it up high. Although it is hard to top relaxing next to a rumbling TN river set down in a deep gorge.

7:47 p.m. on January 8, 2010 (EST)
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Hows it going TrenaryJL

Edit: The first picture looks like Big South Fork, TN

Cool pics!

11:57 a.m. on January 10, 2010 (EST)
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Hey Trout, good eye. That first picture is indeed in BSF. The second was Charlies Bunion with LeConte in the distance on a trip I did 3-4 weeks ago. And the last one was in the Roan Highlands last summer. Tennessee has some nice wilderness to offer especially considering how close it is to all the east coast sprawl.

1:02 a.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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Nice pics Rick-Pittsburgh. I am from Indiana, PA and make Ohiopyle a regular stop every year. Last year I got a chance to kayak the loop of the Yough - below the falls and a few rapids before taking out at the bridge, but was stopped due to high water so we paddled up to the Falls and got to feel the awesome force of the falls.

Thanks for the post, now I remember what non frozen water looks like.

12:21 p.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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Though not my backyard, I've always felt this spot in the Wind River Range was one of the best places on earth I've ever been fortutnate enough to stand upon:

About two hours below the summit of East Temple, August 2005.

1:14 p.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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Wow, that's BSF? We fly in and out of Somerset (KY), I always ran down to the Smokeys on the weekend... everyone local told me backcountry hiking was non-existent and always crowded.

2:34 p.m. on January 21, 2010 (EST)
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Trout, how often are you in the area?

4:43 p.m. on January 21, 2010 (EST)
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Trout, how often are you in the area?

I currently live in Charleston SC, so I buzz up to do backpack trips in TN & NC several times a year.

I used to live just outside Chattanooga & also lived up near Soddy Daisey.

I miss those days when I could just do an hour drive every other weekend to go hiking or backpacking in the mountains, but I have also learned to enjoy the coastal islands we have here in SC.

I didn't get to do as many trips as I wanted to this year because work was so competitive (more hours, less money) but I hope to get back in the grove this year!

5:45 p.m. on January 21, 2010 (EST)
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I grew up in Chatt, moved to CT for four years, and am back now. I'll bet we know some of the same outdoor peeps around here.

I just posted something over on the "Re: the most dangerous " thread that I lived through up on the Hiawassee when I was just a little scrawny kid, you might get a kick out of it- Let's just say I have learned alot since then :)

11:25 p.m. on January 21, 2010 (EST)
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trouthunter, Beautiful picture/scenery. I spent Thanksgiving with relatives approx. 20 minutes north of Johnson City and 15 minutes East of TriCity Airport. Brought my gear but didn't have a chance to get out.

How about a map or directions should I be able to go next year? If you don't want to I'll understand. My favorite trail here in New Jersey leads to a pristine mountain lake. Over this past decade the trail has become heavily used. So much for solitude and lack of trash.

11:24 a.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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Hey Performance,

The North Chicamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness is located in the Soddy Daisy area, North of Chattanooga TN.

Take Hwy 27 to the Dayton Pike exit. Head North back under the interstate overpass on Dayton Pike, go past Charlies Bar on the right, then cross the bridge over the creek. About a ten minute drive. At the light turn left onto Montlake road, go approximately one mile up the mountain, the parking area is on the left. The parking area is easy to miss as it is just a gravel pull off down hill with a guard rail. if you come to a hairpin turn on Montlake Road with a small pull off and a gate across a dirt road you past the parking area. This pull off is also an unofficial trail head.

The parking area is a nice large picnic area with multiple parking slots, it is not paved, nor is it flat, so if you are in a 2 wheel drive park close to the paved road.

You will see the creek down and off to the left, the trailhead is straight ahead to the right of the creek and leaves the parking area with the initial part being a steady ascent up out of the parking area and to an old road for a bit.

The trail is more like 5.5 miles one way, if you count terrain, although published mileage ranges from 4 - 5 miles.

Here are some informative links:

http://www.cumberlandtrail.org/nchic.html

http://www.state.tn.us/environment/na/natareas/northchick/

Also don't overlook Savage Gulf! A fantastic little Grand Canyon type park with excellent rim trails up on the plateau, and trails down in the canyon. The integrated trail system makes it possible to determine your own route using the many intersections and loops.

Here is a link:

http://www.state.tn.us/environment/na/natareas/savage/

11:41 a.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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Cloudland Canyon is pretty nice, too.

11:47 a.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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Yep...you are correct. Cloudland Canyon is real cool, a great dayhike.

There was a woman who fell to her death there a while back, very sad.

12:03 p.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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12:09 p.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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I hadn't heard about that incident, that is very sad.

11:13 p.m. on January 22, 2010 (EST)
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Trouthunter,

Much appreciated.

Performance

10:12 a.m. on January 23, 2010 (EST)
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My son and I at Devils Lake, just taking it all in.

7:02 p.m. on January 23, 2010 (EST)
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That's cool jackpot21n,

My son is 22 yrs old now, we did quite a few trips together, he still loves to go and always likes to go back to the places we went to together, when he was young.

People need to do more of this with their family, football, nascar, baseball, ballet, karate, etc. are all fine but I think we also need to expose ourselves to nature in order to understand some of the more important things about our planet.

12:33 p.m. on February 15, 2010 (EST)
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View from Mt. LeConte in the Smokies, one of my favorite places to go and do some 'head clearing.'

 


1:01 p.m. on February 15, 2010 (EST)
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Wow, awesome pictures! Winter here on the lake, nice camping and good ice-fishing.


Lac Saint-Jean rocks in the winter: big, empty and 1 hour drive form home. Around 110 Km for the whole loop around, easy with sleds on flat terrain.

9:52 p.m. on February 15, 2010 (EST)
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Loving the pictures, Franc. What kind of tents do I see set up there, they look very nice and roomy.

11:11 p.m. on February 15, 2010 (EST)
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We should all get together for a hike sometime. I live in Chattanooga and about 10 minutes away from North Chick Gorge.

That snow pic by Trenary on Charlies Bunion is incredible. Though seeing Leconte in the background makes me sad. I've been up to the top of that thing five times and all I ever got was fog or rain.

Such a great scene scrambling up the rocks to the top of the North Chick Gorge and looking out at it. I got to head to Savage Gulf in the fall and definitely one of my favorite places in Southeast Tennessee. Edwards Point on the Tennessee River and Cloudland Canyon are close seconds.

My favorite place has always been Spencefield in the GSMNP, though. I have a thing for balds. I plan on heading to Roan Mountain this spring/summer, though.

10:49 a.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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Hey Rocklion I go to school in Knoxville Tn so I'm not to far from Chattanooga, and I have heard good things about that area, I'd be down to meet up for a hike sometime. Also I grew up in Bristol, TN about 45 minutes from Roan- one of my favorite hikes indeed. Here are a few pictures!

 


Some friends taking care of the balds


1:29 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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Rocklion and Seth

I also live in the area and might be down for a hike.

2:10 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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I would also like to do a hike in the area, however I currently live near Charleston SC. So logistics for me would be a little tougher due to my current work schedule, but maybe doable in the spring.

I lived in the Chattanooga area for 16 years and loved it. I hope one day to move back either to there, or Ashville NC.

Have any of you guys done the Fiery Gizzard trail...lately?

4:06 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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Trouthunter

I have never been to the Fiery Gizzard Trail, but looking at it online I feel like I have been missing out on something awesome. I generally spend most of my time in Cherokee nat.

4:31 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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I love Cherokee NF myself, The high point of the Fiery Gizzard Trail for me was Ravens Point overlook.

I remember the last bit of trail being a big watermelon sized boulder field, later I was told there was a detour trail around that section called the Dog Hole Trail.

I did the Trail with Rock Creek Outfitters 11 or 12 years ago.

5:11 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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Nice, I will have to add it to my to do list.

I have hike some in the Cumberland area (Spider Den Bluff trail and in Savage Gulf). That area of wilderness has a lot to offer hikers and backpackers.

5:50 p.m. on February 16, 2010 (EST)
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I did part of Fiery Gizzard about a year and a half ago. I plan on going back, probably this Spring when the wildflowers are out and taking it in. Want to do the whole thing. Right now, those rocks are probably so slick I wouldn't trust the trail. I remember there's a lot of going up and down rocks where that creek is.

The Collins Gulf Trail actually closed up there last week because of a rock slide. Don't know when it will be back open.

I've been wanting to do some more in Cherokee NF myself. I've did part of Benton Mackaye up around the Ocoee, but I want to head up the Cherohala to Citico Creek and hit Whigg Meadow and Bob Bald sometime. I wanted to head up there the last month to go play in the snow, but every darn time it started snowing on Friday and I figured the road would be too bad. This last weekend I got stuck with a Honey Do list.

10:12 a.m. on February 17, 2010 (EST)
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The big dome is a MH Stronghold. Very good tent, totally bombproof and sets up fast with only 2 people. Good group tent for meals, sits 10 easy and sleeps 8 comfy. The smaller one is a Trango 2. I wasn't very impressed by the Trango on this trip: the inner tent iced up thick with sleet due to strong winds, we should have buried the fly more.

2:49 p.m. on February 18, 2010 (EST)
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Awesome guys, I think it would be really nice to get out in the wilderness with you guys, who have more experience then I. Just about any weekend this spring I will be available so let's plan something!


Thanks, Franc- your pictures looked really nice, good looking set up too.

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