Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Day of Waterfalls with Nancy and Bill

 

 

On Monday morning, Bill, Nancy, Al and I were on the road by 8:30 am, with plans to visit Tallulah Gorge State Park.  The gorge is two miles long,  nearly 1,000 feet deep and a favorite of locals and tourists.

It had gotten down into the 50’s the night before, so the cooler air made for some interesting clouds over the mountains as we were driving.

 

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We planned on a scenic drive along Track Rock Gap road, but Al got turned around and we ended up almost right back where we started.    I’m sure Nancy will tell you more about our little “detour” in her post.     In all fairness to Al, it WAS scenic!

We arrived at Tallulah Falls State Park and went to the very nice visitor center to get some trail info.  There is a 15 minute film that runs every half hour, but we opted to see if after the hike, due to the timing.

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There is a canyon floor hike which takes you down a series of steps.  You have to get a permit to hike this trail and they only allow 100 per day.

 

HURRICANE FALLS LOOP TRAIL (hikers only, no pets)
Approximately 2 miles, round-trip. Mulched with metal stairs. Rated difficult.
• This trail has a total of 1,099 stairs (including staircase to gorge floor)
• Please do not attempt this trail if you have any known health condition
• Please do not leave children unattended.
• No pets allowed on this trail.

 

We don’t particularly like steps, so Al and I had no desire to take this hike.   Nancy and Bill probably would have enjoyed that trail, but they knew we weren't up for it, so we decided to do the rim trails.

It was a little chilly when we arrived and I wondered if I should have brought a light jacket.  We saw no sun until after we finished the hike, but we warmed up quickly when we started walking.  It was a perfect day for hiking with temps only in the 70’s.

There is a north and south canyon rim trail and they don’t meet, so you have to back track to do them both.  We ended up with about 3.5 miles by the time we finished. None of it was difficult but there were some elevation changes.

It started with a pretty steep climb, but the trail was nicely padded with mulch.

Tallulah Falls with Bill and Nancy

 

Tallulah Falls with Bill and Nancy, Karl Wallenda platform

This is one of the towers he used on his tightrope walk.

Tallulah Falls with Bill and Nancy, Karl Wallenda platform

Here is a picture of him doing handstands.  I snapped it when we were watching the film about the park.  

It is a looooong way down!

Tallulah Falls with Bill and Nancy

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We saw the other tower when we walked to the opposite side of the canyon.

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The canyon and waterfalls are amazing, but my photos do not capture them very well at all.  Nancy had a SLR camera, so hopefully her pictures will be better.

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There were several overlook points with some pretty amazing views.

We intend to go back in the fall when the fall colors are at their peak.

The next picture is a zoomed in shot of the stairs that were on the canyon floor trail.  It was a long way to the bottom

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Talullah Falls

Bill doesn’t get too close to the edge of the canyon, but Nancy doesn’t seem to mind.

Talullah Falls

Talullah Falls

There were many different waterfalls all along the canyon and many rocks  that were dry, but looked as if water had previously flowed down them.

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Talullah Falls

 

Talullah Falls Nancy and Bill

We finally spotted the dam. You can see the water flowing through holes in it. 

Talullah Falls dam 

The warning sign near where you access the canyon floor was certainly large enough, don’t you think?

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The trail led over the dam and along the highway!  That was sure a surprise that this was a part of the hike.

Talullah Falls  Bill and Al

The other side of the gorge.

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more scenic overlooks

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I thought this looked like a bear, but it was some sort of growth on the tree.

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The rocky cliffs looked completely different on this side of the gorge.

Talullah Falls Nancy and Bill

 

There were a lot of pretty colored rocks and caverns.

 

Talullah Falls

 

Talullah Falls

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Looking down into the canyon, we saw these pretty pinecones on the tops of many trees.

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After we left Tallulah Falls, we decided to have lunch at Zaxby’s.  Thanks Bill and Nancy for treating!

While stopped at a light, we noticed this interesting tree.  It was amazing.

Amazing tree

It was a gorgeous tree, but I’m not sure what it is.  It was HUGE!

Amazing tree

 

We still had plenty of time, and Anna Ruby Falls was on the way home, so we decided to go there and take half mile paved trail to the falls.

We got in free with our Geezer pass.

There is flowing water all along the trail with the main waterfall at the end.

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Anna ruby Falls

 

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Nancy and I found an active hornets nest laying on the ground.

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The waterfall is about 153 feet high, and hard to get the entire thing in one photo.

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We found a  very cooperative butterfly outside the visitor center.

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Nancy worked real hard and I’m sure her pictures turned out  much better than mine.

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He stayed there all the time we were taking his picture and Nancy even was able to give him a little thank you pat for his cooperation.

The bees really liked this flower and they were also very cooperative.

bees

It was a fun day, with nice people and we had a great time.   We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather, even though we didn’t see much sun.

Nancy and Bill left today, but  I’m sure we’ll meet up again somewhere down the road.

Thanks for visiting Nancy and Bill.  We enjoyed meeting you.