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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Exciting News about Rocky Fork

Over the past few years, I have posted many (probably too many!) photos of Rocky Fork Wilderness. It's a rich wild place, with ancient forests, huge waterfalls, rare plant and animals (including endangered salamanders and Peregrine Falcons) and wonderful views. Was private land, became public land (with the help of many individuals and The Conservation Fund) several years ago.

Last Tuesday, our Governor and US Senator travelled here to Northeast Tennessee to announce that a portion of Rocky Fork will soon be our newest Tennessee State Park! Many of us Park Rangers, Wildlife Officers, Forest Rangers, etc, as well as many local residents, were on hand to celebrate what will be our 55th State Park.

Here are a few early autumn photos from Rocky Fork, to add to the celebration. Note that I have some even better late-autumn photos, but have not had time to sort through them yet!

First a few views of autumnal tints just beginning, looking down into Rocky Fork from Buzzard Rock, at the NW corner of the 10,000 acre wilderness area...
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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Now some glimpses of the golden autumn light in these rich forests...
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Up near Buzzard Rock is a high elevation scrub bald called the Ball Ground. Not as lush-looking as most of Rocky Fork, but home to some unique plant communities (also home to plenty of Black Bears.)
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:19 PM   #4
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Down lower, and in among the many ridges and hollows, are innumerable clear streams, rich with life and discovery.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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And the 10,000 acres of Rocky Fork Wilderness also adjoins several other wilderness areas - like Sampson Mountain and Horse Creek. Here is a 45 foot high waterfall, just over the mountain from Rocky Fork, called Pete's Branch Falls. Not a lot of flow, but a rich habitat...
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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As long as I'm posting photos of our soon-to-be 55th state park, perhaps you'd like to see a few images of our 54th state park. Cummins Falls is not very close to my home, but we passed near it on the way to a conference back in September. There's an easy trail to the falls overlook, but no official trail to the base of the falls yet. It took some "interesting" climbing to get down close to the falls!

Was not very good light for waterfall photography, but here are a few views of Tennessee State Park #54...
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Hope you enjoyed the "visit" to #54 and #55, and hope you are as excited as I am to see what the future may hold for this new wilderness park! Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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absolutely astounding.

Amazing series Mole, and great news on the new addition
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 9:22 AM   #9
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I hope we get a chance to visit often thru your eyes, nice shots mole, as always I like the way you treat the water falls, great shots of Cummins Falls

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 9:52 AM   #10
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Mole, none of your photos have been "too many". I enjoy them all. My father was TN, he passed away over 10 years ago... your photos just remind me over and over the vast beauty of Tennessee, I think of scenes that my father must have scene. Anyway, your photos are always a pleasure to see. I especially love the mountains and forest shots above, along with the river and falls... So, keep them coming! Thanks for all your shots, Mole. All the best. Ned
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