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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:22 PM   #1
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Default Whitehouse Rocks

Have mentioned here before about our newest wilderness area, Rocky Fork, and the plans to develop a Tennessee State Park on a portion of this wilderness. This gives me an "excuse" to spend many of my days off exploring Rocky Fork, to assist in some small way with the planning.

When I was told about an old trail that might lead to a good overlook, I had to check it out!
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:23 PM   #2
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Thanks to record-breaking rainfall this early summer, all the streams were running full, and all the landscape was rich and green...

(PS - which of these two perspectives do you prefer?)
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:25 PM   #3
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The "trail" to the overlook actually began as a pretty good trail - probably the remains of an old logging road. It led through lush mossy woods, and the Rosebay Rhododendrons were at peak bloom.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:26 PM   #4
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Then the trail followed a small stream rather steeply up the mountains. Plenty of clear, COOL water to hike through!
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:28 PM   #5
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The final section of the hike to the overlook was straight up the ridge, following close to the boundary. This area was very rocky, but still wet enough to support rich green micro-habitats.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:29 PM   #6
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We could tell we were getting close to the top when we began to see near-ripe blueberries. These shrubs thrive in rather dry and exposed conditions...
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:31 PM   #7
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It was a pretty stiff climb, and a bit of fighting through the dense thickets, to reach the top of Whitehouse Rocks. But the view from the top was reward enough...
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:33 PM   #8
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Perhaps once this is a State Park, we can develop a somewhat safer route to the top.

Hike back down was fun and uneventful. We took a side trail to check out one of our favorite little streams...
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 7:34 PM   #9
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Hope you enjoyed the views and the water, and that you will share your comments & critique. Also hope you will be able to visit Rocky Fork for yourself someday soon!
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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a lovely set of images
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