My wife and I had some friends from Florida stay with us this weekend. We decided to take a trip up to the mountains since they had lived most of their life in the flat lands of Florida. The weather was gorgeous and the scenery was fantastic. We decided to go to Helton Creek Falls which is near the beginning of the Appalachian Trail on the side of Blood Mountain.
We stopped at the top of the mountain where the trail crosses over the road. There is a store there that sells hiking equipment and is a great place to get a view of Neel’s Gap. Here is a shot from the porch of the store.
There is a tree at the side of the store where the Appalachian Trail goes by that is very unusual. Hikers that have walked at least 500 miles in their hiking boots will often throw their shoes up in the tree. Here is a shot of the tree.
We left the store and drove down the side of the mountain to the falls. It had been a while since I had been there and the sight we were greeted with was very disturbing. All along the path to the falls were huge Elm trees that had been cut down and were lying next to the trail. It seems that they were being attacked by some kind of parasite and the Forestry service had cut them down to stop the infestation from weakening the trees to the point that they fell on someone. It was a very sad site. Here are some shots I took at the falls.
Just below the falls is an area where you can get out into the stream that feeds them.
We left the falls and headed toward a park that was nearby. As we were going over another mountain to get to the park we stopped to take a few shots from the side of the road.
We went on to the park for a short while and then headed to a nice Greek restaurant we like to go to. We enjoyed a great meal and good fellowship and headed home after a great day in the mountains.
Until next time —