Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hiking the Benton MacKaye and visiting Fall Branch Falls!

About a month ago, Mum took me and Gracie to a new hiking spot. There are a lot of falls around here and we wanted to see one of them. This one was pretty close to us.

So we headed out to Fall Branch Falls, which connects to the Benton MacKaye trail (which is one of the trails that start the Appalachian Trial (AT)).

You can see our path in our hiking map (date 5-7-2011). When we were there, we didn't have this map yet, and were interested to learn that we were just a few miles from where we hiked the previous time we went on a long hike. Very cool how all these trails are connected and how you can get from one to the other by driving around to different trail heads.

Right at the entrance there was a very nice, clean stream. Gracie and I just love checking out streams and get in a nice cool dip.

Just a little way in, we saw that someone left their walking stick for the next hiker, very cool :).

We made our way on the trail and quickly came to the Falls. It is such a great sound the falls make, so calming!

We ventured on and hiked up the mountain, saw a lot of woods and more woods and more woods; after a while the woods get kind of boring, I have to say.

But alas! We turned a sharp corner and just then we heard something scratching around in the brush. We froze! Was it a bear, deer, a squirrel? Mum has a command for us...'listen'...and when she says that we stand very still and be very quiet so we can hear and find what's making the noise. Just after our little 'listen' we saw what was in the woods!

Two wild turkeys took off running down the little ridge and got onto the trail that we just passed, dog did that get us going...we almost pulled Mum down the mountain, BOL! After a bit we calmed down and ventured on. (Sorry no photos of the turkeys, too much chaos to get a pic :(.

We came to one place and saw lots of these...we think it's a Papilio glaucus, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, according to DiscoverLife.org's handy dandy butterfly identification guide.

We took a little break once we got up on the mountain...lots of forest to see, and me of course!

Since Mum didn't know exactly where we were, we decided to head back the same way we came. She definitely has to get us a handheld GPS unit that we can take along to keep track of our location. Who knows maybe we'll even get the add on garmin geocaching chirp and do a little caching? Hmmm...more adventures, cool!

As we headed back, we took in another drink from the clean stream, nice and cool!

And took the obligatory pose in front of the waterfall, BOL!

What a fun little afternoon! Can't wait for our next hike, we are overdue!

3 comments:

Arabella said...

Fun hike Johann!
I just wanted to let you know that you can geocache with nearly any handheld GPS device including many smart phones (iphone etc.).
Good Luck!
Arabella

Johann The Dog said...

Thanks Arabella! We tried using our GPS on our cell, but sometimes don't get cell coverage where we hike; so we are gonna look into a GPS handheld. Just feels too weird to hike in the middle of nowhere and not know where we're going! Kinda scary too :)

Elf said...

Jeez, I've been hiking with nothing but paper maps and sometimes a compass for decades. Don't need this newfangled GPS stuff.

Heck, I even geocache by printing photos of the satellite location of the objects (although that wouldn't work so well in a thickly wooded area).

I love the waterfall shot and congrats on getting the butterfly to "listen!" so you could get a nice photo! Dang things hardly ever hold still long enough for me to get my camera up.