Located in central Georgia, High Falls is the most impressive waterfall in the Georgia Piedmont. Located on the Towaliga River, this water feature is an unusual sight for area this far south. This short leg-stretcher is a good option, if you're travelling I-75. In addition, if you're looking for a longer hike, you can try some of the other trails in the park to add a few miles. This hike occurred on Thursday, June 25th, 2015. My plan was to do the quick walk to the falls and back from the parking area.
Deep in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina and northeastern Tennessee lie the Highlands of Roan. This widely-known name represents one of the most beautiful spots in the Southeast, and perhaps the entire Appalachian Mountains. This series of mountain balds lies on the route of the Appalachian Trail, and quite a scenic of a hike it is. Whether you're coming here for the spring wildflowers, the autumn foliage show, or after a winter snowstorm, you're not likely to be disappointed (except it may be a little too cold in winter). Although only the most seasoned hiker will be able to do this physically difficult and tiring trek in a single day, there are several variations that can split this hike into several, and then, there's always the backpacking option. This hike occurred on Saturday, June 13th, 2015. My plan was to hike the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap over Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Little Hump Mountain, finishing at Big Hump Mountain. I would return the same way. I would also take the spur trails to Grassy Ridge Bald and Overmountain Shelter.
Black Rock Mountain State Park is the highest state park in Georgia. The main attractions of the park are its numerous vistas, a small lake, and a strenuous trail system. While one of the hardest hikes in Georgia, hiking the entire trail system in a day will present many rewards, including four vistas, three water features, and several different ecosystems. This hike occurred on Saturday, May 30th, 2015. My plan was to hike the entire trail system of Black Rock Mountain State Park as follows, with the starting point at the Black Rock Lake Trailhead. First, I would hike the Black Rock Lake Loop counter-clockwise. Then, I would continue to the James Edmond Backcountry Trail, and take the West Fork up Black Rock Mountain past Greasy Creek Falls to the upper trailhead. From here, I would hike the Tennessee Rock Loop clockwise past Tennessee Rock Overlook and then cross Black Rock Mountain Parkway to hike the Springhouse Trail to the Trading Post. Then, I would hike the short but steep trail to Ada-Hi Falls (a mere trickle most of the time) and also hike the short Norma Campbell Cove Trail. Before descending the mountain, I would also hike the Visitor Center Connector to Blue Ridge Overlook and Black Rock Overlook. Following this, I would retrace my steps to the upper trailhead. Finally, I would take the East Fork of the James Edmond Trail down to Taylors Creek and its cascades and then up and over Lookoff Mountain (with the side trip to Lookoff Mountain Overlook) to the hike's terminus at Black Rock Lake.
Kephart Prong, named after Horace Kephart, is one of the major tributaries of the Oconaluftee River. The headwaters of Kephart Prong are on the south side of Mount Kephart near the Appalachian Trail. This gorgeous balloon hike takes you from the confluence of Oconaluftee River and Kephart Prong deep into the Kephart Prong drainage, and then up a climb that will get your heart pumping all the way to Charlie's Bunion, a breathtaking vista of the Tennessee side of the Smokies and into the Tennessee River Valley. Your return route takes you past more views and even a couple waterfalls. This hike occurred on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015. My plan was to hike the Kephart Prong Trail to its terminus, and then continue on the Grassy Branch Trail. From there, I would take Dry Sluice Gap Trail to the Appalachian Trail, and take the Appalachian Trail over Mount Kephart and past Charlie's Bunion. I would continue by descending down Sweat Heifer Creek Trail and finishing the hike by going back down Kephart Prong Trail.
Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 388.1 Miles