Tennessee Trails Association (TTA) is a statewide hiking club made up of several chapters across the state. Each chapter usually offers a variety of hikes during each month so on any given weekend there will be several hikes to choose from. Today, two different chapters were hiking in the Smokies--East Tennessee and Upper Cumberland chapters. We’ve been wanted to hike with the East Tennessee group since we moved here, but hadn’t yet had an opportunity. Today was the day.
Rosie, chapter chair for East Tennessee, was our leader today. She had a small group of only four other hikers, but I like the small groups best. It’s easier to have a “group” conversation and I feel like I get to spend more time with each one on the hike. The hike Rosie selected was Middle Prong. This is certainly not a new hike for us. I think we’ve hiked this trail three times, including today, in the past month or so. Because the hike was easy and only 8 miles in length, we didn’t get an early start. We met at the trailhead at 10 AM.
I’m not going to repeat the description of this hike, since I’ve already done that twice in this blog recently. We hiked up to the Indian Flats waterfalls where we settled in on the rocks for our lunch break. Lynn Camp Prong drops three different times in this area before finally settling in for its run toward Middle Prong and the Little River. Where we had our lunch was between the first and second drops. As you can see from the photo, some in our group wanted to sit right on the ledge near the second drop. Others of us were more comfortable closer to the upper falls and away from the ledge.
Among the rocks in the shallow water, I found this large seal salamander and this little guy tucked under the rock. Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the “salamander capital of the world”. Five different families of salamanders can be found in the park and on any given day the salamanders will outnumber the humans in the park.
Gene and I have been members of TTA for many years; he longer than me. Because we often hiked with different chapters, we knew many of the members across the state. Since we started RVing, however, we lost contact with almost all of these folks. We’re anxious to get back in the group again. Today was a great start and we look forward to hiking with TTA, especially East Tennessee chapter, often.
That’s it for today. Thanks for tagging along.