We were going to do one of the tougher but very busy trails today. This meant that we wanted to get an early start. This morning, just before the alarm went off, I decided that this was too much like work. We didn’t necessarily need a day off but something easier so I shut the alarm off and we went back to sleep. Once we did get up, we had a nice long french toast breakfast.
Since it was a completely sunny day and the weekend forecast is lousy, we didn’t want to “waste” a day so I picked relatively easy hike. The Porters Creek Trail is another hike up alongside a creek. The trail is known for its wild flowers. It goes 3.6 miles up a backpacking camp but we only went 1.8 miles to a waterfall that was a good turnaround point for us. We climbed at a nice steady pace to gain about 700 feet in elevation.
We got there at about noon and the parking area had about 20 cars in it. It didn’t feel crowded but you were never far out of sight of someone else.
I am not sure if it because it is a weekday or because we really are doing the easy trails but I am sure that over 90% of the people we saw on the trail were over 60 years old. They all seemed very interested in the plant life and would stop at spots and have discussions.
The first mile of the trail is a wide gravel road.
For this section the creek was right beside us.
We stopped at a small pioneer cemetery beside the trail.
A warped vertical panorama.
The first bridge was easy to cross.
After the roadway ended we were onto a more traditional path.
Up to this point there had not been too may flowers. Mainly more trilliums.
The next bridge was a bit more of a challenge.
The middle span is about 8 feet above the water and kind of bouncy. We, and everyone else we watched, made it across very slowly and carefully.
Just downstream a tree had fallen across the creek.
I told Jennie that this was the original bridge (It wasn’t). She didn’t like that idea.
The guide book said that the best flowers started after this bridge. There were definitely more but not by any means dazzling. I guess this long winter has delayed everything. I heard that back home in Ontario it is still is winter and that snow is still falling.
The trail was littered with petals.
Almost up to the waterfall.
Fern Branch Falls is up the hill a bit from the trail.
In the picture above you can just barely see another hiker (one of the few under 60) that climbed up an unofficial trail to the base of the falls.
So, of course, we had to climb up as well.
We were going to have our late lunch, after our late breakfast, here but there were a lot of bugs so we headed back to the bridge.
Below you can just barely see Jennie perched on the rock under the right side of the bridge.
And her looking at me.
Here is a vertical panorama I did while standing at the center of the bridge. You can see my feet at the bottom.
As we ate lunch we watched everyone struggle with the scary bridge. This dad even did it backwards to watch out for his daughter.
Heading back we saw this weird tree that seemed to be ringed with little holes all the way up.
This rock had a nice collection of tiny trilliums.
We stopped and watched these colourful moths flutter about for quite a while.
Driving back to the RV we did another drive through Pigeon Forge because we needed some groceries. If you ever need a contrast to the beauty of nature…
I think this one just about sums it up all in one place.
I think we will stick to nature.