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Old 02-05-2009, 07:59 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Default Laurel Falls (Carter County)

I have always enjoyed spending time in the woods, but especially when there is some snow on the ground. We didn't get a whole lot of snow, but I decided to hike to one of my favorite streams today (2/05), Laurel Fork in Carter County. I hiked in from the Laurel Fork trailhead parking lot in Hampton off of HWY 321. I wanted to enjoy the day and hopefully get some pictures. I am by no means a photographer and didn't do anything but point and shoot with my waterproof fishing camera. Took a lot of pictures and thought I would share a few.
After a short hike we arrived on the creek


stopped to take a look at one of my favorite runs...it looked cold


First Bridge heading upstream


There were places where the creek was nearly frozen over


Looking down from the ridge above


And finally arrived at Laurel Falls...now I know why I didn't bring the rod


Last edited by MtnMike; 02-05-2009 at 08:10 PM.. Reason: picture mistake
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:08 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Default Laurel Falls (continued)

Climbed back to the top


love the snow covered trails through the woods


The shelter on the AT


I apologize if the post was too long or if this was the wrong place to post. But I was just glad to get out and in the woods and wanted to share my day. It didn't end perfectly, I got back to the parking lot to discover that someone had busted out the window to the back door of my car, they had moved some jackets out of the floor, maybe hoping to find something under them. Must have gotten scared because they didn't take anything, my GPS was on the window and my fishing gear was in the trunk, so I was glad that nothing was stolen. I refuse to let that ruin a good day, Just be aware about leaving your car. My car was in plain sight in a designated parking lot off of HWY 321.

Mike
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:27 PM
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Good pictures Mike! Brrrrrr......
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:54 PM
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milligan trout degree milligan trout degree is offline
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I love that trail. Never fished the waters though. Haven't hiked it since I started fly fishing, but I plan on hitting it this spring. Thats crazy about your car. The parking area there is in the open right along a well travelled highway. Surprised.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:20 AM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is offline
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Mtn Mike,
I have noticed that trailhead several times in my travels to Boone. Is there any good backcountry campsites up there? I guess theres always the AT, but I wasn't sure how far up the trail it was to the AT. Is the fishing any good?

Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:54 AM
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Awesome photos. I have never made that hike but now I can say that I have saw it at its most prestine viewing. Sorry to hear about the car. I bet that made for a chilli ride back down the mountain.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:12 PM
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Very nice photos.

I need to make an effort to get out more often when we have a snow in the area. It really offers very unique opportunities for some amazing photos.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:14 PM
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Default Mike

Is that water moving on the falls? I was up there a few weeks back after we da alot of rain. The water was high and fast, and the falls were really moving. Nice pics. Love that area.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:49 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Thanks for the comments. As I said before I am not a photographer, just out enjoying the day. In answer to some of the questions. There are plenty of trails in that area and a campground at Dennis Cove a couple of miles above the falls. There are plenty of sites where people camp in the backcountry but I am not up to date about the regulations for doing so. The AT shelter is a pretty quick hike from Hampton. The parking lot is not on the AT but within about 1 mile of hiking it will join up with the AT. Follow the AT upstream and the shelter will be at the top of the first ridge. Their are a couple of trails through there, including one that stays right on the creek. We went up to the falls and then came back by climbing to the top and coming across the ridge (all on trails). The falls do have moving water, most of what you see is ice, but there is water coming down a few feet from the right as you face the falls and while we were there a chunk of ice broke lose on the far left and the increased flow of water was very noticable.
As far as the fishing goes, I honestly haven't fished it as much the last couple of years because of the drought. The creek has been very low. In the past I use to catch a lot of decent browns in the section below the falls. They stock plenty of rainbows above the falls in the Dennis Cove area and a little ways above there it is mostly wild browns (a barrier falls keep the rainbows from moving up) with some brookie thrown in on the feeder streams. It is one of my favorite places, but I believe the drought has hurt it. No real evidence to support that opinion. I really haven't fished it much over the last couple of years, it was kinda disappointing to go over and see how little water was in the creek at times. Good to see it up again, but I have seen it with a lot more water.

Mike
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:13 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Default A few more shots

I went back and looked at the pictures and found a few more that were nice...

frozen creek



getting to the other side


looking down from the ridge


there was some moving water


I had some more pictures of the falls, but they just weren't very good. The sun was shining toward me from above the falls and there was no light on the falls and the pictures just didn't turn out the way I would like for them to. Hope I didn't over do it with the pictures.

Mike

Last edited by MtnMike; 02-06-2009 at 04:16 PM.. Reason: heading to picture
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