Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hanging Rock - River Bluff Trail


Ok all you couch potatoes who read this blog and say "someday I am goin to hike like the Fat Bald White Guy...but that trail just looks too hard..." 

 This trail is the one you start your hiking career on!  The River Bluff trail is a 1.3 mile loop nestled along the Dan River in Hanging Rock State Park.  

Taking the loop clockwise we begin a pleasant walk through a Piedmont forest....where we got to see some amazing wisteria hanging from a downed tree lain across the trail.

About 3/4 miles along the trail, we began to hear the gentle roar of the Dan River and we got a glimpse of the river made muddy by the recent rain. Honeysuckle is in full bloom across the river.

Looking up river we spotted some kayaks lazily floating down the river.....and some rapids which they would have to we scampered to the rock beach and got some nice picks of folks having a great time on the Dan River.

The first two made it through very smoothly....but the next three were a family and they ...had more fun....the father got soaked as he nosedived into a rapid...then the mother and son got turned around and we got to see a very nervous puppy dog anxious to get out of the boat.

Looking around the rock beach we found a river hut of sorts....perhaps a home for a River Witch....who knows....but we constructed a cairn there just to make sure we paid homage to whatever river gods we may offend.....

Back on the trail we found ourselves on the opposite bank from some really incredible rock formations.
 The rock face exhibited marks of the prior river level of the Dan.....centuries old....the Saura Mountains are some of the oldest mountains in the world but the bluffs of the Dan provide a nice visual aide to marking the age of the river.

 It was like counting rings in a recently cut oak tree. The marks on the rock bluffs caused by the rushing river demonstrated the age of the river and surrounding mountains.

The yellow flowers blooming on the ridge was a gentle contrast to the copper toned walls of the river bluff.

My hiking companion says this rock promontory looks like a turtle but I see the face of a camel....wonder what psychological explanation of our personalities are revealed by these admissions....hmm??

Another rocky bluff exhibited the signs of a recent waterfall....this would be a really interesting waterfall to photograph as the bluff was easily 150 feet above the river.
As the trail intersected into the Indian Creek Trail we got a view and a small exploding waterfall....

We really enjoyed the River Bluff Trail...located at the Dan River Access in Hanging Rock Park the access is a 9....the view to effort ratio is an 8....scenery is an 8....and the trail is an 8.....solid grade of 8....this is a trail even a couch potato can manage....heck even our 12 year old Corgi  "Missy" made the hike with a smile on her face.

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