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    Kevin Riner saved Virgin Falls Trail

    3 months ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

    8 months ago

    Not a bad hike. Plenty of trails and a few water falls. Good views and wonderful owners of the land.

    Kevin Riner added NBF homeplace

    about 1 year ago

    Kevin Riner saved Volunteer Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Clingmans Dome
    JULY 1, 2016 / LEAVE A COMMENT / EDIT
    For finally graduating with my Associates in Divinity from Grace College of Divinity in North Carolina, my wife and I spent a few days in the Great Smoky Mountains to celebrate both of our hard work; my studies and her putting up with me.

    We decided to take on Clingmans Dome, which really is not daunting task. It is a concreted path with somewhat of an incline. It will wear out the not-so-in-shape person. They have a few places to take a sit on the way up if you get tired and you do start to feel it in your thighs as you ascend the pathway. Once you reach the top, the dome comes into view and what a view it is to see it peaking out of the tops of the spruce-fir zone.

    One would think Clingmans Dome is a spectacular structure that beckons a moment of awe as it winds in spiraling form to the highest point in the Smokies. However, on closer inspection, the Dome is spartan and weather-beaten. The rock facade is beginning to deteriorate and the dome itself is showing signs of years and years of use.

    Which is why there is an initiative by National Geographic to repair some of the nation’s greatest parks. You can visit VoteYourPark.com and vote for your top five parks to help unlock $2 million in preservation funding (only through July 5, 2016).

    However, it was still a pleasure to visit the Dome. The views were not pleasurable since the day before experienced rain which left fog encompassing the altitude. Hence why they call them the “Smoky Mountains.” Through the fog, we got to see some distance but not much.

    After some time we decided to hike the forest trails back to the parking lot instead of the over-publicized concrete path. At the Dome, you can take the Appalachian Trail for a half mile (or so) which then connects with Clingmans Dome parking lot trail. The AT was another chance to mark some mileage off walking such a prevalent and most acknowledged trail of all long trails (CDT, PCT, AT).

    The fog cleared in some spots to give views to the rolling landscape below as we walked among the footsteps of those who had gone before on the AT; Benton McKaye, Grandma Gatewood, Earl Shaffer, Bill Bryson, Jennifer Pharr Davis, Warren Doyle, Bill Irwin, David “AWOL” Miller, Buddy Backpacker, Zach Davis, Baltimore Jack, Neva “Chipmink” Warren.

    Knowing I’m walking in those footsteps was an honor for something I deeply respect and dream of.

    After reaching the fork that takes hikers back to the parking lot of the Dome or continuing on the AT, we knew we needed to be getting back. We turned off the ridge line to walk back down the side of the mountain through the thicket of fir (so deep you couldn’t see ten feet to either side). We enjoyed the cool air, the shadowiness of the spruce coverage, the countless streams pouring out of the side of the mountain, and the occasional view when the trees opened up.

    We knew we were getting close to the parking lot when we starting hearing voices. The trailhead presented boulders larger than a house that presented a small glimpse of our size in comparison that could easily give someone a sense of insignificance in this word. After reaching the trailhead we over heard a park ranger giving an answer to the constant question of all visitors: Why are some of the pine trees dying.

    “Those aren’t pines, they are Fir trees and the balsam woolly adelgid is killing the Fir.” See here

    I wished we could’ve had a better view but it was still pretty cool to mark a few things off the bucket list so it was worth it. Plus who gets the opportunity to view the Dome with fog coverage? You can see pictures all day long of the 7 mile view because no one thinks the fog is worth seeing but I enjoyed it.

    Hope you enjoy the video.

    Kevin Riner reviewed Chimney Tops Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/chimney-tops/

    After checking out Clingmans Dome, we decided to head down 441 and take a quick hike up the very strenuous trail to the rocky face of Chimney Tops. When we arrived it was about 2:00 and the sign at the trailhead said it would take an hour and a half to reach the top. The first part of the hike seemed rather easy (for me anyway). There are many, many, many steps to climb that trail workers built to make the ascent much easier than it could have been. Carrie decided to count them but quickly lost interest when it became more work than walking.

    Once we reached the halfway mark, speed began to allude us. The trail began to go straight up and the steps were becoming more laborious. At one point, I believe if I had turned to ask Carrie if she wanted to quit, she would have said yes. One couple that stayed ahead of us for most of the hike did actually quit 2/3 the way up.

    When we finally reached a leveling off we could see that we were very close to the top. We were warned by a passing hiker to be cautious of the “killer” squirrels. They were definitely making their presence known and they would get rather close if you let them.

    We reached a point where the trail actually came to an end but the sign informed us if we wanted to continue to the top , we could scale the rocky face of the mountain to get the views. Carrie decided to stay put where their were some other hikers there that had been there a while. They had even set up their ENO hammock. I went further climbing halfway up the rocky face before feeling the pressure of fear and shaky legs. I decided it was far enough and the views were spectacular at that point. Others continued further up but I had gone far enough. I was satisfied with the heights that I had reached.

    As soon as I got my fill, I scaled back down, grabbed some water and a pack of Spam singles (I was hungry). Then Carrie and I hiked back down the mountain. The whole way down my legs were feeling the jitteriness since I was using my legs muscles more to stay paced and not rush down the mountain (like some we saw as we were going up).

    Once we reached the bottom, it was time to find food and that we did in the Burg of Gatlin. BBQ was on the menu at Hungry Bear.

    Kevin Riner completed Chimney Tops Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed First Creek Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Part of a 21 mile loop I hiked starting at First Creek parking lot.
    First night: Stayed at First Creek campsite B
    Walked to McCoy Hollow Trail
    Second Night: Stayed at McCoy Hollow Campsite
    Walked to Wet Prong Trail and connected back at the parking lot.

    https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/mammoth-cave-first-creek-loop/

    Kevin Riner completed First Creek Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed McCoy Hollow Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Part of a 21 mile loop I hiked starting at First Creek parking lot.
    First night: Stayed at First Creek campsite B
    Walked to McCoy Hollow Trail
    Second Night: Stayed at McCoy Hollow Campsite
    Walked to Wet Prong Trail and connected back at the parking lot.

    https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/mammoth-cave-first-creek-loop/

    Kevin Riner reviewed Cheeks Bend Bluff View Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    I've hiked this trail twice now with my 6 year old. Great trail to get out for a few hours. The first time i couldn't find the cave but the second time, we went with some friends from our Cub Scout Pack and found it. Really enjoy the trail. I don't enjoy the drive back to it. It;s a bit rough to drive.

    Kevin Riner completed Cheeks Bend Bluff View Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner followed Ryan Smith

    almost 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner saved Alexander Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner added Track - Apr 20 05:10 PM

    over 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner added Track - Apr 19 05:35 PM

    over 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner saved Machine Falls Loop Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed Twin Arches Loop Trail

    almost 3 years ago

    Made this loop as part of a 20 mile hike I did in Big South Fork.

    Our route took us from Bandy Creek Campground up Jack's Ridge Loop. Then on Laurel Fork Creek Trail to Station Camp Creek Trail to Charit Creek Lodge, around Twin Arches loop. We stayed the night around Jack's Place then caught the Charit Creek Horse Trail to Black House Branch and back down to Bandy Creek Campground. Moderate to strenuous hike.

    Find more at
    FaithDebugged.wordpress.com

    Kevin Riner completed Twin Arches Loop Trail

    almost 3 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed Mousetail Landing State Park Campground

    almost 3 years ago

    Great hike. Would love to get back out there. Make sure to stay at Shelter #2.

    Most of my commentary is on the video at https://faithdeblistered.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/mousetail-landing-state-park/.

    Some points I’d like to make are:

    Difficulty: moderate (can be strenuous for some)
    Miles: roughly 12 miles (this includes hiking mountain bike trails to make a figure 8)
    Marking: Clearly marked but easily confusing since mountain bike trails criss cross the trail in numerous places
    Shelter: Stay at shelter #2. Shelter #1 has no view.
    Terrain: dirt, mossy, rocky; bridges can be slippery if recently rained
    Water sources: Take plenty of water. Hardly any water unless it rains
    Trail conditions: Lots of blowdowns and debris on the trail
    Nothing but ups and downs. Hardly (but some) flat hiking

    Kevin Riner completed Eagle Point Trail Loop

    almost 3 years ago

    Kevin Riner saved Spence Field via Cades Cove

    almost 3 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed North-South Trail (Tennessee Section)

    over 3 years ago

    This is a an excellent extended hike. It took us 6 days hiking from South Welcome to North Welcome. Some terrain is very difficult but others are very easy. The south portion is mostly in the woods and the north section takes you along the banks of Kentucky Lake. Not much to see for the most part but it's a great time in the woods.

    There are five shelters that adds to the mileage. Typically each shelter is .5 to 1 mile off the main trail.

    Kevin Riner completed Hidden Lake Double Loop

    over 3 years ago

    Kevin Riner reviewed Wild Turkey Trail

    over 3 years ago

    The family decided to get out since the cold stretch was creating cabin fever. It was an unusual warm day so we decided to head up to Henry Horton State Park and do a day hike. We knew we didn't want to take a long hike since our four-year old is still developing his hiking legs but we needed to do something before we drove ourselves crazy.

    Henry Horton offers numerous trails;
    Hickory Ridge Nature Loop — 1.5 Miles (inner loop) — N3.5 Miles (outerloop)— Natural Surface — Moderate
    Wild Turkey Trail — 2.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
    Wilhoite Mill Trail — 1.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
    Adeline Wilhoite Horton Nature Trail — 4.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
    Henry Horton Greenway — 0.2 Miles — Porous Concrete — Easy

    For our hike, we chose the Wild Turkey Trail. The website says it's a moderate hike but to an avid hiker like myself, it wasn't moderate at all. It was actually easy. Maybe what makes it moderate is simply the length at two miles.

    Nashville Highway (Hwy 31) splits Henry Horton State Park. On the east side just on the south side of the park, you take Warner Road. Just up about one mile is the trail head to Wild Turkey Trail. There is a small parking area and park maintenance building.

    Just as you begin it meanders down into some oak trees with sporadic pines. It continues down and incline then turns to the right. Just as you turn there is what looks to be an old well or spring house. A small block wall and a water basin is all that is left.

    You then begin to climb to your left. It's not a steep climb by all means. Just as you reach the top you'll find a cross memorial. Not sure if it really is a memorial or somebody was just fooling around. However, my four-year old was very intrigued with it.

    The trail then cuts back to the right where you'll find a small pond of water. It's dirty and looks just to be a small crater that catches water. The trail circles around it and up ahead you'll find a larger pond. For some reason, I didn't snap a picture of this pond so I grabbed one from AllTrails.com. We took a few moments to sit and rest before moving on. Levi threw a couple of sticks in the water because that is what four-year olds do.

    After moving on the trail continues its moving to the right. We were on the back side of the trail when I noticed in the woods a sign on the outward facing portion of a tree. I was curious why a sign would be pointing away from where the hikers would be so I investigated. Afterwards, I realized that there is a cemetery on the backside of the park with an old gravel road for a through-way.

    Continuing on, we came across where someone attempted some bushcrafting. I always enjoy seeing things like this. I think its pretty cool that there is a renewed interest in bushcrafting and doing things the old way. This particular craft is a shelter of a main beam with limbs on each side with what would have been covered with leaves still attached to limbs or any other brush that would keep the person out of the elements.

    Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the red hiking man. I'm not a big fan of the new hiking "blazes" but they do hold up to the outside elements far better than fading paint or wooden trail markers. I am an old soul so I like the more raw and natural materials to communicate with hikers but I understand that aluminum is much longer lasting.

    Nearing the end if you are hiking the Wild Turkey Trail clockwise, you come to a grove of pines. I am always fascinated with nature and the way it abruptly moves from one type of tree to the other. You can see that the trail cuts the two types of trees. It is magical to be walking along the oaks and find yourself surrounded by pines so tall and waving with the wind making a groaning noise as they sift and squeak as they rub against one another. The ground floor covered with pine needles reminds you of the softest bed you have ever lie on.

    After walking past the pines the trail will take its last turn back towards the parking area. Levi did wonderful and Carrie and I both enjoyed being out of the house and walking in the calm of nature. If you are in the neighborhood, I would highly recommend checking our this two-mile hike. It won't take you long and you experience some fresh air and relaxation as you meander through the woods along Wild Turkey Trail.

    Kevin Riner completed Wild Turkey Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Kevin Riner saved Cheeks Bend Bluff View Trail

    almost 4 years ago

    Kevin Riner added Wild Turkey Trail

    almost 4 years ago