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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:44 PM   #1
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Default Bays Mountain

Had some time yesterday, between the showers, for a nice hike up Bays Mt. This is a large city-owned park. It was originally set aside to protect the watershed of the city's reservoir, and is now protected as a natural area. They have a fine nature centers, live native animals on exhibit, a planeterium, and lots of guided programs. Of course, we prefer the trails, and they have about 25 miles of great hiking trails.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:46 PM   #2
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The mountain itself begins at the Holston River, but the nature center and main entrance are on up the mountain. Since Saturdays are always very busy at Bays Mt, we came in the back way, up from the Holston River at Laurel Run.
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Last edited by mole; Sep 20, 2009 at 3:59 PM. Reason: (misspelling)
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:48 PM   #3
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It's a mostly forested mountain, and the soils are very sandy (the mountain itself is sandstone). Most summers the landscape looks quite dry by now, but we've had such a fine wet summer that the forests are still quite lush!
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:49 PM   #4
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We did find a few autumnal tints, especially at some of the sunny openings.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:51 PM   #5
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Those sunny openings were also rich with late-season Asters and Snakeroot, and the many "bugs" that enjoy them.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:53 PM   #6
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Back in the damp shady woods, the puppies got all excited as we passed a small stump. Here's the "critter" that attracted their attention!
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:55 PM   #7
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There's a nice little (60') firetower up on Bays Mt. It's over 70 years old, but still quite safe to climb - the CCC did some great work! Here are a couple of views of the tower itself - which do you prefer?
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:56 PM   #8
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And here are some views from the top of the tower - a great place to try to imagine life for the fire spotters who once worked up here.
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:57 PM   #9
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There was only one other visitor to the tower - the Black Vultures really seem to enjoy circling this high point on the mountain!
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:58 PM   #10
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As you can see, the clouds moved in, and then the rain started again, so the K-m went back into the backpack for the hike back down.
Sure hope you enjoyed this little 12 mile hike!
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