Monday, April 9, 2012
Good Friday Hike at Wheeler Farm, Fall Creek Falls
Friday April 6
Good Friday Hike at Wheeler Farm, Fall Creek Falls.
I asked if anyone was interested in hiking on Good Friday and a few folks decided to come spend some time in the woods at Fall Creek Falls. Cousin Anthony graciously agreed to lead us around Wheeler Farm and the Crusher Hole to see some wildflowers, waterfalls and Medley Arch. There was a beautiful blue sky and birds were singing. We met Sara, Tony and Denise from M’Boro in the Park. Lillian from Upper Cumberland and Ranger Monica met us at the trailhead on Hwy 30. From the entrance to the Park, drive down the mountain toward Spencer. About ½ way down on the left, you will see the parking area and the Wheeler Farm sign.
We followed the roadbed down the hill to the farm and then followed a path toward the Arch. Following Anthony with cameras in hand, we found so many different wildflowers to stop and investigate. A few times we consulted the wildflower guide to confirm some, like Pennywort and Large flowered Skullcap. The Skullcap is rare but grows abundantly in this area, the beautiful Cumberland Plateau. We wandered around the Arch area looking at flowers, and when we came to the Arch, it was very impressive. 90 feet high and 30 feet wide. There is a tulip poplar growing beside it and stretching its limbs up above the Arch and I wonder if it knows how tall it is.
Wheeler Falls was flowing and we climbed around seeing where all the water was flowing from. Lillian says you can go thru a crack to the left of the falls and get on top of the ridge to see the water coming from springs. Something else to explore. We hiked back to the cars and caravanned to the Crusher Hole. It is also part of FCF. At the foot of the mountain turn right on 285 drive a couple miles, turn right on a dirt road. Cross a creek bed.
Ate lunch and then walked around in the woods finding more to take pictures of….Little Brown Jug that looked green not brown, Columbine growing on the rock walls, trees with big lavender blooms (?), Larkspur, more Skullcap.
After the Crusher Hole, Anthony, Monica, and Lillian had other places they had to be so the rest of us went back to the Park to visit the big waterfall. 256 feet tall, highest east of the Mississippi, have to brag, it’s right here at Fall Creek Falls! We hiked to the bottom of the falls and then back up. Lots of folks out today enjoying their State Park.
Thanks Anthony for showing us all the flowers and thanks to everybody else for making it a great hike.