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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hiking at Laurel-Snow!

We had a great time hiking with new agility friends yesterday at Laurel-Snow.

You may remember that we hiked just a little of this part of the Cumberland Trail last summer and had a blast.

As a reminder, here's a little about the area:
The primary focus of this segment is the Bowater Laurel-Snow Wilderness (Tennessee's first National Recreational Trail). The natural area contains a section of gorges deeply cut into Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau by Morgan, Henderson, Laurel and Richland Creeks. The site is named after two scenic waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 feet) and Snow Falls (35 feet), and features three scenic overlooks, Buzzard Point, Dunn Overlook, and Bryan Overlook (also known as Raven Point). The area features scenic creeks, steep gorges, geologic features, a small stand of virgin timber, and a wide variety of plants and animals.
This time we hiked with agility friends (our new bud Speed and his Mum) who knew the trails very well. Last time we were there we had a hard time finding the trails, so this time it was a lot more fun!

Speed's Mum and my Mum had a great time talking about all kinds of dog stuff on our hike...everything from dog agility, to dog training tips, other places to hike, upcoming trials and all kinds of other dog stuff :).

We started out at the trail head after driving up the lane from the sign.

Here's a cool map of the area. We hiked all the way up, about 4.75 miles, and about 700 ft increase and decrease in elevation to see the Laurel Falls, which were beautiful, even if they weren't at their full flowing capacity.

There were lots of photo ops on the rocks that bordered the main creek!

The rock/moss walls along the main entrance trail were so cool! You know how much Mum loves moss :)

We made our way along the main trail and up the steep, and one of the most difficult parts of the trail, toward the metal bridge. Some parts of the trail had big drop offs and were very narrow, but Mum, Gracie and I navigated them well, we thought.

This metal bridge was different than any bridge we had seen before. It reminded Mum a little of the cattle grates that we've seen before and that Gracie is super nervous about (there is one at the trial site where we walk into the building).

But this was a little different and the grates were closer together. I had a little difficult time walking over it with my little feet, and Gracie got a little nervous at one point, but we made it across very well! Mum carried me across on the way back, she just didn't want me getting another dislocated toe!

We walked on and came to this place that was like a rock tunnel! Here we are watching our friends who went first. We had to climb lot of rocks to get through the tunnel, but it was very fun!

Then we took a little break once we got up to the falls at about the 2.5 mile point. Here's Gracie checking out all the scenery.

And I took a break on one of the rock overlooks!

The falls were neat! Not as big (80 feet) as the ones we found at Fall Creek Falls (20 stories), but very cool just the same. The water is low right now, not much rain or snow for the past couple of weeks.

On the way back we saw this super cool rock wall!

And stopped for another photo op :)

And we got to play in the stream, love that wading stuff!

Here's a photo of our agility bud that went with us! This is Speed and he is a very well behaved hiker. Mum was super proud of all of us for getting along so well. Gracie, I think, was a bit smitten, she wanted to play all day with Speed :)

And here's a little video of the three of us heading back on the main trail to the car.

We had such a fun day and the weather was perfect for a nice hike! Super thanks to our friends for inviting us!

Hope you had a great holiday weekend!


  1. It looks as if you all had a lovely time. Loved the short video clip!

    I noticed that you two were on leash but Speed wasn't. Is there a particular reason for that?

  2. Well, I'll admit it...Speed is much better off leash than Gracie and I. He was trained from the time he was 'adopted' to be off leash like this. Gracie and I weren't unfortunately, (who knew we'd be doing so much hiking like this when I was adopted :) so we have lots more work to do before we can be off lead in a strange place.

  3. What a pawsome hike! Hey, I live in Cumberland!
    ~lickies, Ludo

  4. Totally awesome place for hiking! We are so jealous! Glad you had a great time and got to explore more of the area with your friends who knew it so well!

  5. It's wonderful having places like this to wander through. Those of us with access are so lucky; I can never understand why people don't want to go out into such beauty! Hmm, I could swear I have a photo of a very similar rock wall here in California... hmmm, nope, if I could remember where it was, I could probably find it. Time to go hiking again!

  6. Oh that is definitely a fun thing to do with dogs... I wonder if how speedy I could go hiking if I bring out my rabbit for the rabbit hutch and do some hiking fun?

  7. Watching these pics I envy you. When I used to live in Montreal, I was able to take a drive 30 minutes from the city and hit nature. I am traveling in the Philippines and I now have three dogs, but we don't have much great space in the city.


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