Monday, January 24, 2011

Dale Hollow Lake Eagle Watch

According Bluff Trail 7.5 miles
Day one: 4 miles
Day two: 11 miles

Lora and I decided to attend the Dale Hollow Lake Eagle Watch put on by the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They take you out on a barge to see the bald eagles of Dale Hollow Lake. It's a three hour ride they do for free. The Friends of Dale Hollow Lake serve refreshments while your out on the water.

After we got to the lake we found out that the Tennessee Trails Association were doing a four mile hike after the tour. This is a beautiful lake and has the largest small mouth bass record.

We all got on the barge and we headed out. They had a small spotter boat from the Kentucky State Police that helped out finding the Eagles. It didn't take long and they had us hooked up. We got to see five different eagles and a couple of hawks while we were out.

After the trip, we ate lunch and then joined the TTA for a hike on the Accordian Bluff Trail starting on the Willow Grove side. We hiked two miles in and then back out. After saying good-bye, Lora and I headed to the Cove Creek primitive camping area. They have 34 primitive camping areas, most of which you need a boat to get to. Yes, we did have a few concerned citizens about us camping out in "this type of weather?" We had a great time sitting by the campfire looking at the stars and listening to the owls talk. We were only disturbed a minute by some young teens that drove down to the ramp to be loud and then drove off. Sometime in the night a ranger or police drove through. I told Lora it was one of the rangers loosing a bet on us.

The next morning we went back to the Lillydale Recreation Area and hiked the Accordian Bluff Trail the opposite way so that we could get the whole trail in. We only got a few inlets over from the campground when we saw our first Eagle. As we were watching it fly, another eagle flew up. Soon another eagle joined them and they started flying off across the lake. Another eagle flew up and was circling around where the others had come from. It was amazing just to watch them fly. As we hiked on another eagle was circling around.

We continued down the trail which goes along the side of the lake. When we stopped for lunch, two red tail hawks flew over us and circled for a while. After we started down the trail again we saw a large Great Horned Owl. He would fly a little ways down the trail and then wait for us to catch up, then fly again. We continued. About half way down the trail there are two out houses off the side of the trail. They are on top of a ridge and we were trying which committee decided to place these here. There is nothing around them.

Finally we got to the place where we hiked the day before and we headed back. On the way back we got to see the owl again. We also had three different red headed woodpeckers put on a show for us. When we thought we had been blessed enough for one day, a Bald Eagle flew in and landed in a tree right next to us. Wow, what a hike. We got to see another hawk and another eagle on the way out.


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