Our TN State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath led the hikes today. The hikers met up at Cumberland Mt SP: Mountain Dave, Sarah and two 4 legged companions, two ladies with 2 little hikers, and me.
We traveled to Devil Step Hollow for the first hike where we got to see the cave where the Sequatchie River begins. We also hiked a new section of trail that is being built; more of the Cumberland Trail. This part of the valley has some beautiful views of Hinch Mt. The fields were full of butterflies enjoying the Joe Pye and other wildflowers.
Our next stop was lunch back at the park; some at the Inn and some picnicked. Then a tour of the CCC museum.
Next stop: Black Mountain. On the way up the road we met the hardworking CT trail crew that had been using weed eaters and loppers to clear the trail.
We hiked to the overlooks, then to a really cool boulder field. Dave did a trail run to check out the campsite. We really appreciate the work by the trail crew.
Two of our hikers had never been to Ozone Falls and it was too close by to not check it out on such a pretty day.
When we got there, the parking lot was crowded, lots of folks on the trail today. It’s just a short distance to the top of the falls, and the creek. It’s a steep rocky descent to the bottom of the falls, but worth it. The pool at the bottom of the 100’ waterfall was full of swimmers. Looking at the sandals and flip-flops lying around, made me wonder if they would be barefoot by the time they climbed back to the parking lot. We took our time taking pics and enjoying the cool mist from the falls.
On the way back up the trail, our fearless leader wrangled a copperhead to get it off the trail and away from all the people coming up the trail. And yes I got to scream.
Thanks to Randy and the other hikers for a great hike.