Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tanawha Trail - Two Hikes


Tanawha Trail to Wilson Creek Falls

Looking for a new place to hike this season, my Hiking Companion suggested we venture over to Grandfather Mountain.  If you are going to hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway side of Grandfather, you must look to the Tanawha Trail.

We decided to stop at Boulder Field overlook just south of the Linn Cove Viaduct and access the Tanawha Trail.  From that overlook we saw in the distance some old friends, Table Rock, Hawksbill, Sitting Bear and Gingercake Mountains of the Linville Gorge.
The Tanawha Trail is a boulevard trail leading from Julian Price Park to Grandfather Mountain.  From this trial many other trails are accessed.  We did not have time to hike very far due to the lateness of the day so we chose to hike north to the trail head of the Rough Ridge Trail.

The Tanawha Trail runs parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway and in this case on the side of the ridge above the scenic Linn Cove Viaduct. 

From the trail we got occasional glimpses of the distant Table Rock Mountain.

The trail crossed a nice spring fed creek that seemed to bubble up from the ground among moss covered rocks.

About six tenths of a mile along the trail we came upon Wilson Creek which because of the recent snow fall melting off the mountain was a roaring water fall.

From the bridge we could see the water flowing to the Viaduct which we could see in the woods in the distance.   Looking up the creek we got to see another view of the Wilson Creek Falls

Like all little boys, the Fat Bald White Guy likes to play in a creek so it did not take long for me to locate a side trail and begin to climb upstream to a large rock formation

What I did not know was that beyond this rock outcropping was an ever expansive series of waterfalls and creek rapids.

 It was like the entire mountain was alive with water seemingly flowing from every direction

It was very neat to literally sit on a rock in the middle of a mountain stream and let the water flow all around me. 

I really don't know what is so exciting about exploring a mountain creek and marveling at the natural grace and quiet roar of waterfalls but it is a feeling that is simply invigorating.

It was hard to leave Wilson Creek and the many wonderful falls that seemed to erupt at every turn.  I wonder if this scene was atypical since the previous weeks saw a foot of snow on these mountains.   It may be that this was a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Leaving the creek we tracked back on the Tanawha Trail toward the Boulder Field.

Overall we hike about a mile and a half and got to enjoy a nice mountain trail that was not strenuous and got to play in Wilson Creek Falls.  I don't know how active these falls will be in drier days but the hike is well worth the trek to see one of mountain's naturally beautiful scenes..... a waterfall.

Leaving the trail I was drawn to the massive mountain but a couple of miles away.  Grandfather Mountain is calling and one day soon the Fat Bald White Guy and his hiking companion will be on top of the summit at Calloway Peak...

The access to the trail off the Blue Ridge Park was is a 9..... the trail is an 8....rocky but not very strenuous....the scenery is an 8....other than the fantastic waterfall not a very scenic hike.....overall the trail is an is one anyone can make and well worth the journey.

looking over Hacker's Point toward the North Carolina Wall off Rock Jock Trail in the Linville Gorge

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, Thanks for sharing about hiking. Can you share more about hiking health benefits?