SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Cane Creek Spring Wildflower Hike, Trip Report and Photos< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:43 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[CODE]



Mountain Bellwort along Goldmine Road Trail








Cane Creek Spring Wildflower Hike





Dana Koogler solo





8 miles round trip approx.





Pictures are here:





Cane Creek Hike Photos






   I had been longing to get out to hike and see Spring wildflowers and soak up some fresh air and sunshine.  I worked the weekend and had planned to get out Sunday with the family to hike and picnic.  We did go, but the weather turned foul and was cold, windy and raining.   Monday rolled around and promised a day to myself with perfect weather.  I had been mulling over several different ideas of places to go.  I considered Cane Creek Trail, but there was the inner battle to go there or somewhere else? A couple things settled it for me.  One was its proximity


 to home giving me more time on the trail and less on the road.   I had hiked this trail several times before.  I had even hiked it before in Spring. What I had not done was hiked it as a destination to itself in Spring. It had been part of a long backpack trip with Dan Heimsoth.  By the time we trudged out that trail we were weary and all we cared for was getting to the Little River Barbeque for dinner!    I knew that with a lighter pack and a more focused eye today I'd see things differently and I'd be glad I picked this area.





      I woke at 4:15 am and lay awake. I was so looking forward to getting out in the


woods I could hardly contain myself.   I planned to hunt morrels on my way.   We had found some on our backpack trip, but by the time we made it out they were beat to pieces!  I took along a poke to carry them out in safely.  I was on the trail and in the woods by 8:30 am.   Foothills Parkway was beautiful this morning with the sun coming up.   





    




View from Foothills Parkway in the early morning light.



      I arrived at the Top of the World and parked the jeep and hit the trail.

I was pleased to find Goldmine Road trail in better shape than the last time I hiked it.

It was not as muddy today and the downed trees were cleared.  I saw a few pretty wildflowers along the trail here.  The streams were running good today from last nights

rain.  Today was sunny and warming up.  The forest smelled so good!  Today would be a hike through the piney woods. One of my favorite kinds of hikes!



       I hiked along and made the turn onto Cooper Road trail. I compare it to the Road to Hell. Wide, easy and paved with good intentions!  I had just come to the junction with Cane Creek Trail when I heard something that stood my hair up.  I have run into lots of bears over the years. I've even been bluff charged. I have never heard what I did today before.  I heard a bear bellering out in pain.  I never did see it, but I could hear it crashing down through the trees and hear it bawl and yelp.  I'd rather see one than hear it.  That was scarier than seeing one.  

I am standing here with camera in hand waiting and watching to know if I will be able to see the bear I can hear in the distance directly ahead.



   

One of many fords along Cane Creek Trail. They vary from easy rock hops to ankle deep wades!





Catesbys trillium is one of the main wildflowers along this trail.





Trillium leuteum is also prominent along the paths today.





    I brought along my water shoes but I only used them once.  It was warm and I just plowed through the creeks when necessary with boots on.  I get tired of taking the water shoes on and off.  I hiked past camp site #2 and it is in rough shape thanks to numerous downed trees.  Bear cables are in good working order and I did not see a scrap of trash, but the trees downed in the middle of the site are a hassle. I'd hate to have been staying there when they fell.   Not far past the camp is the Buchanan Cemetery.  I did not go up there today.  I am not big on old cemeteries, but I have gone there before in June or July.

I go to see the mountain camellias blooming!  They are so pretty and smell good too.



     The Cane Creek trail is interesting. It is an easy trail.  It doesn't have a lot of steep ups and downs.  It has some bad places in it thanks to horse traffic.  It is getting little use from either humans or horses though.  It is having so little use that the grass is growing in the trail in places and to me that's great.   The creek and the trail become one in some spots.  It has pools of water along it with tadpoles sometimes.

I only saw one like that today.    Some patches are through rhododendron tunnels and forest deep and dark. Gorge walls enclosing you on both sides.  Sometimes the forest opens up and lets in the sun and is like a cathedral of tall slender trees with sun filtering through the canopy like stained glass windows.  The scent of pine trees and fresh green growth is all around.  I thank God for his created works and for His Holy Spirit to lead me

in quiet places and keep me safe and peaceful.



     

Forest gloom at 10 am.









Sunny and open forest with Spring green & sunshine.





Catesby's trillium ages pink similar to T. grandiflora





     I continued my hike steadily along until I reached the park boundary.  The official trail ends here, but the path continues. It becomes the Cane Creek man-way now.  It is maintained by the Blackberry Farm.   It is posted private property, but they seem to have an unspoken agreement with the GSMNP of reciprocity.  Long as you aren't hassling their paying customers you can come over on this side.  I stopped to take pictures of the rusty truck.  I kept pushing on passing some beautiful slides and cascades in the stream. 

Rusty ole' truck





One of many slides in the stream.





     Once you get past the old truck and this slide area the creek crossings are bridged!

Chicken Crossing is just below this. Next is Lambert Millenium Bridge.. the suspension bridge. See the picture below. Today it was especially scenic, bouncy and fun. Eleanor Hail.. I thought of you today here. I was jumping on the bridge making it bounce and laughing and thinking of Fluffy the Elephant!.. ME!   If only I had a trunk to make trumpeting sounds!



Lambert Millenium Bridge



     The next bridge doesn't have a name, but it has lots of character. It is sloped and while crossing it is quite sturdy and not scarey at all.. Just look at it! 

Propped up on a log and a boulder! The stream here is gorgeous. Deeper and wider and looks like it would be a good place to cool off in Summer.



Cane Creek looking downstream from the slanted bridge.



    I continued down the trail and came to my right turn into West Millers Cove and Hurricane Holler.   I saw lots of turkeys and a wide open meadow of green grass, blue skies and sunshine.  It stood rimmed by redbud trees and dogwood blossoms.  Heaven must look a lot like this. 

Beautiful Spring Day in West Millers Cove







Turkey gobbler strutting in the field. He knows he's safe. There's no hunting here.



    I stood looking at the cove and I knew something was still not right initially.

I was trying to find the way me and Dan came out a few years ago.  I had found morrels there and was wanting to find some today.  I remembered a fence of some sort.  I stood looking at the river before me and a rocky outcrop that projected over the river.  The meadow ended here at a bend in the river.  I turned away and closed my eyes and then

turned back toward the end opening my eyes for a fresh look.  I see it.  The way is up and over.  A barely visible trace about six inches wide up and over the rocks.  Once up on the bluff I had a great view of the river and could continue into the second meadow!





I'm goin' t' the bluff! I've got a grandstand view of the river below me!





Once on the bluff I was right by a nice patch of trout lilies!



   I kept pressing forward til I came to a stile and a fence. I knew I was in the right place. I saw a side trail leading up over the ridge to my right.  I sallied forth into Hurricane Holler and hunted mushrooms for awhile. I was unsuccessful, but at least I knew why.  The wild hogs have been busy!  Someone has set numerous hog traps to try to stop them.   They are destructive to wildflowers and mushrooms and everything they come in contact with.

The stile had little effect keeping them out.  It was real pretty back there so I sat down and ate my lunch and rested in complete solitude and quiet.





Small cascade on Hurricane Branch





The view as I ate lunch. Before me is a large hog trap. I hope they get 'em!





   I hated to leave, but I had to begin working my way back. I knew I had a long walk back to the jeep and some uphill to do.  I eased on out of there taking my time.



  





Redbud trees in bloom on the edge of the meadow.





One spot along the walk was filled with blue phlox and looked a lot like White Oak Sinks!





    I continued ever onward making my way back to the vehicle.  I did better than expected and was out of there by 4:15 pm sitting in my jeep fixing to drive home!

Today's hike is one that will be a treasured memory.


--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 2
Owen571 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1010
Joined: Apr. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good fun, and nice pics! I always like how you format your posts, too.

Ha, did the same thing this past week-gave up on swapping into my water "shoes" that are more like neoprene slippers with a sole after one crossing, and just let my socks and shoes be wet after that.
'Cause it's a lot warmer than it was a couple weeks ago!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 3:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Owen! Thanks for reading the trip report and commenting.  I always like your TRs and pix.  And not to mention the videos! Can't forget those!  

You're a lot like me. Two rough dogs out in the woods. LOL Yes it certainly helps that it has warmed up. My hubby was so impressed with this trip that he wants to go back!  I'm pleased. I'd like his company and I know he'd enjoy it. Its only 14 miles from my house!


--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 4
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I fixed up a short video of some of the prettiest places along the creek and then failed to add it to the blog entry.  I'll just post it here on this thread.  I don't want to risk tearing up my HTML code after all that work.  Here is a link to it.Cane Creek Video

--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 5
Owen571 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1010
Joined: Apr. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 11:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(magicmomma @ Apr. 17 2013, 2:28 pm)
QUOTE
You're a lot like me. Two rough dogs out in the woods. LOL

Hahaha..yep.
I let my penchant for running off the beaten path get the better of me at Panthertown, and didn't see all the falls I wanted to. Was having a blast bushwhacking and crawling through stuff, crossing the creek wherever, etc. Nice thing about putting a high ridge to your back is that you can't get lost.
I like that video, and saw the Yahoo Falls one on the sidebar. I *might* make it up there next week. My knee bothered me, so I didn't head north this week. Guess it's a good thing. I haven't looked at the weather, but my parents told me tonight that the rain that just missed us dumped 5-6" some places in N. Alabama. It didn't even sprinkle here.  
That'll have some waterfalls flowing, though!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 18 2013, 7:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Panthertown is awesome.  I've got a BP trip coming up there with my BFF.  She is new to backpacking so this will be fun and interesting.  We did some bushwhacking there our last trip and found a new waterfall!  It was the first time we'd been bushwhacking just the two of us with no menz.   You'd enjoy Yahoo Falls.  We're hoping to leave out tomorrow to go to Fentress Co. to explore. I am having a jones for off trail adventures.  I love the Smokies, but the political B.S. here just wears me out.

--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 7
oldnolder Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2287
Joined: Jun. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 18 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As usual very nice report and beautiful pictures. My wife and I just relived your hike without leaving the house. We have both been down with cold or virus for 2 weeks so it was nice to see spring coming. You are so far ahead of us though. I think I'll have some lunch and go for a little walk in the woods.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
magicmomma Search for posts by this member.
Wildest Flower in Tennessee
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2134
Joined: Sep. 2008
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 18 2013, 4:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oldnolder, Thanks for reading my trip report and commenting.  I hope you and the missus feel 100% well quickly! I hate that for you.  Warmer weather is on the way. The sunshine and fresh air and warmer temps should help you mend. All the best to you both!

--------------
"My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, chearful meadows, and high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves to view."~~William Bartram
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
7 replies since Apr. 17 2013, 11:43 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Cane Creek Spring Wildflower Hike
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions