2013 WATERFALLS and HIKING TRAILS continued...

The following waterfalls and hikes are on this blog:













 17 February 2013


Tobacco Pouch trailhead on Monument Rd. - N34° 30.43' W84°20.13" - Elevation 3040 ft.
Upper Falls - N34° 30.78' W84° 19.42' - Elevation 2390 ft.
Falls Creek Falls - N34° 30.94' W84° 19.11' - Elevation 2120 ft.
Lower Falls - N34° 30.79' W84° 18.43' - Elevation 1940ft.
Wildcat Campground - GPS and Topo data: N34° 29.72' W84° 16.85' - Elevation 1660 ft.



This shots was taken for my sweet friend, Debbie Clifton. I prayed for her throughout this entire hike and every waterfall hike I went on after she told me of her illness. I wished so much she could have been with me to see the exquisite beauty in this particular waterfall. This is one of the most gorgeous shots I have ever taken.

May you rest in peace sweet Debbie!

Fall Creek Falls is the highest part of the trails in the Wildcat Tract and begins at the Tobbaco Pouch Trail off of Monument Rd. The lowest part is at the Wildcat Campground on the Amicalola River off of Steve Tate Road. The total elevation change is almost 1400 feet. The easiest way to see the four falls on Fall Creek is to park a car at the Wildcat Campground and start the 5 mile hike from Monument Road. Our group parked cars at the campground, then we drove up to Monument Road and (and parked 2 more cars), then we headed down the steep trailhead at Tobacco Patch Trail.

Liz at the base of Fall Creek Falls (where we stopped to take pictures and have lunch) showing off her awesome Canadian thermos that she brought with her on this hike so she could whip up some Hot Chocolate for the group. What a sweetie!!! We sure needed it on this cold hike. Jeffrey put some of the water from the waterfall in his filter and then heated us up some hot water for more Hot Chocolate.

Kimberly, Ron, Jeffrey, Christy, Liz, Dean, Mike, (Dana and Sterling were ahead of us) leaving Fall Creek Waterfall trail to find the next set of falls.

Jeffrey and Mike brave the fallen tree to get across the creek bed to see the 2nd waterfall. We never found the fourth waterfall.

An alternative way to reach Fall Creek Falls and the lower falls is to hike 1.5 miles on Wildcat Trail and then on Falls Creek Trail about 1.7 miles to Falls Creek Falls and return - a round trip of about 6.5 miles.



23 February 2013


Steve R., Dean, Steve and Mike wait patiently while Alicia and I take off our boots to ford through the creek bed. Near Montgomery Creek Waterfalls.

Steve R. is hiding in the bushes while Steve, Mike and Dean relax and take pictures at the Lower Black Falls at the Frank D. Merrill Army Rangers Camp.

My girl Friday, Alicia will hike to any destination with me even if it means traversing down steep embankments.

A foggy day at the top of the mountain at Cooper Gap in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, sits Ward Creek Falls near Justus Gap.

 This is exactly what one should always expect from attending one of my hikes; wet, dirty pants and shoes. Please be advised to always wear waterproof hiking boots so you can ford through creek beds. We normally always go off trailin'. If you're going to play with the BIG DOGS you're going to have to get wet!



9 March 2013


There was 13 folks who joined me on this photography hike. These are just a few of the shots I took.   Danny pulled this little guy out of the tiny pond so we could take his picture. He finally brought his legs out of his shell, but I was able to get back down on the ground to get that shot. I had a hard enough time getting back up the first time.

I had no idea we would have a little waterfall on this hike. There's Julie, Sara, Baynard and Dan taking pictures.

There's silly Stephanie climbing over the footbridge. Once everyone climbed over the footbridge, Julie decided she wanted to climb the mountain a short way down it, so we all climbed back over the footbridge so we could climb to the top of Arabia Mountain.

And here I am climbing over the footbridge. Thankfully I didn't break anything - including my camera. Photo taken by Julie.

Mike, Julie and Alicia

Our photo hikes are S-L-O-W and I mean slow. Once we get to where we're going, we stop and relax, we check our phone, we look at the 360 degree views at the summits and well we just take our time...

Photo taken by Henry since he set his camera up on his tripod.

Starting at the bottom kneeling is Sara and Danny

2nd row is Barynard, Stephanie and Kim

3rd row starting with the goofy man sticking his tongue out is Henry, me, Julie, Mike, Pat, Alicia, Dave and Don.



27 August 2013

Jeffrey took a whole week off from work for his birthday and for the first time ever we had a chance to go hiking just about every single day he was off from work. WOW what a wonderful time we shared in the woods; exploring, laughing and praying. 

The above falls is normally flowing over three shelves of rock; however, with the storms that trampled through the area over the years, fallen trees block the water flow on the far right side of the rock shelf.

Mushrooms that grow in the wild really fascinates me.



27 August 2013

Directions to Becky Branch Falls:

Take Warwoman Rd. from US441 in Clayton for 3.0 miles to Warwoman Dell on the right.

Turn into Warwoman Dell and park here.

Follow the Bartram Trail (which passes through Warwoman Dell) north approximately 0.25 miles to a foot bridge at the base of the falls.

The trail which crosses over Warwoman Rd. will ascend steeply in places.

GPS and Topo Data
Falls - N34º 53.04' W83º 21.15'
Elevation - 2140 Ft.


Above is the Bartram Trail marker that is located on Warwoman Rd on the trail to Becky Branch Falls. If you pass by this sign while in a car on a sharp curve, you may miss it.



29 August 2013

Valentino and Denver were wore out by the time we finished our hike in Vogel State Park.

It was pretty warm on the day of this hike, so each time we had to hike through a creek, I stopped and splashed myself with that nice cold water.

This little guy stood perfectly still while I took his picture.

My sweet Valentino at the end of our hike.



29 August 2013

Directions to Helton Creek Falls:

Go north from Dahlonega on US19 - about 21.5 miles to Neels Gap.

Go another 1.7 miles to Helton Creek Rd. on the right.

Follow Helton Creek Rd. 2.3 miles to a Forest Service parking area on the right.

About half of this distance is paved, the rest is dirt.

The trail is well maintained and has steps to both falls and is about 200 yards and not very strenuous.

The walk to both falls is about 200 yards on a well maintained trail with steps on the steeper slopes.

GPS and Topo Data:
N34º 45.2' W83º 53.7'
Elevation - 2260’

Lower Falls

Lower Falls - there is an observation deck right above this falls; however, it was so hot outside that I didn't want to leave Jeffrey and our babies in the truck for too long, so I forfeited the upper view.



22 September 2013




We had quite a drive to get to the starting point of Siler Bald.

We kept seeing the clouds cover the tops of the trees on our drive up, but we never imagined the clouds would be this spectacular once we got just about 1/2 mile from our starting point at Winding Stair Gap where we parked on Highway 64, west of Franklin, N.C.

From Winding Stair Gap we went north on the A.T. The trip to the top of Siler Bald is almost all uphill.  We gained about 1400 feet just withing 4 miles of our hike - talk about a work out! Camping spots near the top are plentiful and the views are breathtakingly amazing!

Breathtaking views heading up to the summit. This beautiful hike visits two high points of the Nantahala Mountains with panoramic vistas. Although a great deal of climbing is required, the trail is graded well and goes by several campsites and springs.



Rick, Kennette, Indra and Vu joined us on this awesome hike.

Looking down to Nantahala Lake!

Ken, Micheal and Sandi from our group.

Wildflowers that flourish in spring, summer, fall and winter provide outstanding photo ops.

Everyone was much faster than we were and yet sweet R.C. - our fearless hike leader stayed behind with Jeffrey and me. I thought this was supposed to be a S.L.O.W. hike and because of that thought, I took my time snapping many shots like this one on our way back down from the summit. 

Wildflowers are plentiful in the grassy knoll area heading up to the summit of Siler Bald.



19 October 2013


I've never been brave enough to climb down to this area because it's normally pretty flooded, but low water allowed my hiking buddy, Mike and I, as well as Leslie who joined us on this trip to hike down here. 

To see it was to believe it in how I was able to capture this image --- I had one foot on the side of this mountain (on the left) while my other foot was holding me up on a huge rock (not pictured) and while doing this trapeze act, I was doing a balancing act with my tripod to capture other images like this one with my camera.

On the way out of this area, Mike decided to take a plunge in the water - accidentally of course. I'm sure his foot was pretty cold as he did a split by having one foot in the water and the other on a nearby rock to the far bottom right of this shot. Poor gent...

This shot and even the below shot must be two of the prettiest images I've ever had the priviledge of capturing during my many hikes to this area. 

The water is so low today. Usually when I'm up in this area, the water is pounding over the rocks where there is only a few small streams to the right of where the semi larger amount of water is flowing... 

I didn't even set up my tripod to capture this image. I just sat my camera on the boulder and snapped away.

Some odd shaped mushrooms growing on fallen trees that are scattered about in this area.


Pink Lichen on a fallen tree at the upper falls at Blood Mountain. These are organisms that are comprised of a fungus and a green or blue-green alga. The lichen does not cause any harm to the trees.



9 November 2013


All eight of these awesome folks signed up for this hike and all eight actually showed up; some do not even show up for hikes, but this group did! I felt so blessed and honored they came out to Arabia Mountain to learn more about the Camino hike.

Leslie, Carol, Cindy, Vivian, John, Barbara, Keyonna, Vivian's boyfriend - whose name of course escapes me...

The terrain is so different at Arabia Mountain than at other hiking destinations. There is a combination of rock trails, dirt trails, more rock trail, paved trails, and the elevation gain going up Arabia Mountain is 940 feet and there are even some small waterfalls. The rock outcrops are called monondock - an isolated hill standing above the surrounding area. It is estimated that Arabia Mountain is 700 million years old.

I took hikers here for the terrain since the Camino offers different terrain and elevation gain especially in the Pyrenees. I wanted folks to have some kind of idea of how it would be in Spain and we had all of that and more today at Arabia Mountain.

The Fall colors were breathtaking as they even reflected off this lake.

Thank you, Leslie!



I never heard anyone complain and everyone was game for whichever direction I suggested we hike toward so we wound up at this covered bridge. You all are so photogenic!

I'm so glad nobody waited on me going up this hill since I'm slow as a snail when it comes to hills.

My new military friend, Keyonna. She's a rock star hiking almost 9 miles with us today.



29 November 2013

We had a blast here! What a wonderful weekend we had! We had a warm campfire by a nice flowing creek which was so nice to hear at night, but that 25 degrees on Friday night was somewhat miserable to say the least; we had our 15-20 degree mummy sleeping bags and a couple of thick blankets...and even those didn't keep us as warm as we would have liked to have been.

We did notice there was frost on the tent when we took the boys out to potty and that scared me a good bit. I was actually afraid to go back to sleep because I didn't want to freeze to death.




  Denver and Valentino went camping with us and Denver was amazed at the ducks and the creek. 




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