Saturday, May 9, 2015
Big Ridge and Norris Dam
Once again the Plateau chapter was hiking somewhere I had never hiked. We met up in Crossville and drove to Big Ridge State Park in Maynerdville. There was a renaissance festival going on when we arrived. We left two of our hikers at the parking lot and headed out on the Lake Trail. There were several Boy Scouts and a pile of lumber at the trailhead. Eagle Scout project. We hiked a combination of trails to make a loop. Right away we had one fall off a walkway into the mud, messy, but only a small boo boo. We saw lots of wildflowers and some geese sleeping on some logs. After we looped back to our trailhead we met the Scouts carrying the lumber to the bridge project they were working on. We told them about another bridge we found that needed a little work.
We picked up our two festival hikers and headed to our lunch spot. Museum of Appalachia has quite a selection of fixings for lunch, plus a real sweet lady to take your lunch order. If you look at the pics you will see one hiker I won't name that was a little hungrier than we thought.
After lunch we drove to Norris Lake State Park for our other hike. 3.2 miles on the River Bluff Trail. Of course we went uphill first since we were still stuffed from lunch. It's a really pretty trail, with views of the lake, wildflowers and ferns. We spotted what looked like a natural bridge but didn't get close enough to check it out. I zoomed in with the camera. The loop back along the lake was so pretty with ferns and greenery everywhere, even a giant sized Jack in the Pulpit.
Our after hike treat was refreshing, ice cream! These hikers know how to do it right!
We stopped on the way back for a little history. The Wheat Community African Burial Ground, on a hill next to the highway in Roane County is a really interesting place to visit. The marker at the entrance tells the history of the cemetery since there are no markers on the graves.
Thanks Plateau folks for another adventure.