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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:27 PM   #1
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Default Overmountain Victory Trail

It's a trail commemorating the Overmountain Men, tracing the route they took to the Battle of King's Mountain (Revolutionary War). It's also a great hike from Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area up into the Roan Highlands. Recently had the opportunity to lead a few hikes in this area, (and to check to check trail conditions in advance).

First on the schedule was a sunrise hike up at the balds on Roan Mountain. But heavy predawn rain discouraged the hikers. So I hiked on up alone, and was greeted by, not a sunrise, but a fog rise!
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:28 PM   #2
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Back down to Hampton Creek Cove we spotted this monarch butterfly caterpillar, still wet with fog and rain. They've been rather scarce this year, so it was nice to see several out and feeding on the milkweeds.
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:28 PM   #3
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Hampton Creek Cove is set aside as a habitat for a rare warbler. It's also rich in plant life (and scenery). We enjoyed seeing Pink Turtlehead blooming near a mossy spring.
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:29 PM   #4
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Here's a very typical view of the lush meadows at Hampton Creek Cove, with rain-shrouded mountains surrounding...
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:31 PM   #5
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And here's a tough old survivor - a yellow birch growing across bare rock, reaching to a small wet-weather spring.
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:33 PM   #6
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The trail leads up from Hampton Creek Cove into Cherokee National Forest, intersecting with the Appalachian Trail at Yellow Mountain Gap. Here are some views from the gap - also proving that the M 75-150 can be a landscape lens...
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:35 PM   #7
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Here are a few ripe Elderberry fruits, and plenty of Wild Lettuce seed in the meadows just beyond the gap.
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Old Sep 25, 2015, 5:37 PM   #8
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And here's a view of the AT shelter - officially called the Yellow Mt Gap shelter, but most call it the Red Barn shelter!

Could not take a lot of photos while leading the hike, but hope you enjoyed this small sampling. Also hope it will encourage you to come see the Northeast Tennessee mountains for yourself!
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