Little River Canyon National Park: Martha's Falls Trail, Beaver Pond Loop Trail, and Eberhart Trail, Fort Payne, Alabama
There are just a few places in Eastern Alabama worthy of hiking at, and Little River Canyon is definitely one of them. The canyon is over a dozen miles long, and it is bordered by the Sand Mountain Ridge to its west, and the Lookout Mountain Ridge to its east. There are lots of interesting rock formations around the canyon, and in the canyon, while Little River rushes through with whitewater. Little River Falls is the biggest waterfall on Little River, although there are small slides in its course too. This hike occurred on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014. My plans were to hike the Little River Falls Trail to Martha's Falls out and back, then drive down Little River Canyon Parkway (AL Route 176), stop by each of the overlooks, hike the Beaver Pond Loop Trail, and finally, hike the Eberhart Trail from Eberhart Point to the bottom of the canyon and Little River.
Cherokee National Forest: Gazebo Trail to Benton Falls, Clemmer Trail, Rim Rock Trail, and Clear Creek Trail Loop, Benton, Tennessee
In the Ocoee District of the Southern Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee is the Ocoee River. It is surrounded by the mountains of the Chillhowee Ridge to its north, and the Cohutta Mountains to its south. While the Chillowhee Mountains are not high at all, just above 2000 feet, it was still rather attractive to check out some of the 20+ miles of trails in the Chillhowee Recreation Area. Benton Falls is the key attraction in the area, as Clear Creek tumbles 65 feet down a natural rock ledge. This hike occurred on Saturday, March 15th, 2014. My plans were to park at the Gazebo Overlook trailhead on Oswald Dome Road, to take the Gazebo Trail to McKamy Lake, then take Benton Falls Trail to Benton Falls, followed by Clemmer Trail to Rim Rock Trail, then take Rim Rock Trail to Clear Creek Trail, and finally use Clear Creek Trail to get back to the trailhead.
Montreat Conference Center: Graybeard Trail to Walker's Knob and Graybeard Mountain, West Ridge Trail, and Piney Ridge Trail, Montreat, North Carolina
When you hear about the Black Mountains of Western North Carolina, Mt. Mitchell and the Craggy Gardens usually come to mind. However, there is something else besides that most people don't know about, especially those who live farther away. Below Mt. Mitchell and its 6000' brethren is the Asheville watershed, and to the east of the watershed is a small private community called Montreat. And what most people don't know, besides the ones who live there, is that there are 20 miles of hiking trails in Montreat, and a lot of them are strenuous. This hike occurred on Saturday, March 8th, 2014. My plans were to take the Graybeard Trail from the trailhead in Montreat up to Graybeard Mountain Overlook and descend back to Montreat via the West Ridge Trail on Seven Sisters Ridge and then down Big Piney Ridge Trail.
The mountains of Southwestern NC are one of the most beautiful areas outside of the Smokies. In fact, a lot of these mountains have huge cliff faces, one of the biggest in the entire Eastern US. One of the more well-know mountains is Scaly Mountain, and the nearby Cullasja River Gorge, has an incredibly scenic road, and several beautiful waterfalls, including Dry Falls. I did this hike on Saturday, March 1st, 2014. My plans were to start at the Osage Overlook Trailhead for the Bartram Trail on NC Route 106, and take the Bartram Trail northward to the summit of Scaly Mountain, but my plans did not quite materialize.
Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 468.7 Miles