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Archive for the ‘Blood Mountain Wilderness’ Category

Water Flow Update: good water flow in north Georgia, especially since there have been lots of recent rains.
Spring Foliage Update: foliage decent up to almost 2000 ft in Georgia, above that just starting (dogwoods, etc, but not greenery).

Blood Mountain is the 6th highest mountain in Georgia (at 4,458 ft), and the highest point of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, surrounded by a great wilderness area. It has a wonderful view from on top of it after a great (though steep) hike. And being high, water flows off it steeply, so there are a number of waterfalls falling from the sides of it. Both Scott and I (at different times) had visited some of these waterfalls, but there were more we hadn’t hit yet, so that was the plan for this past Saturday morning. Another part of the motivation was that I had a copy of a nicely done new book of hikes to Georgia waterfalls, Waterfall Hikes of North Georgia, by Jim Parham, which described hikes to these waterfalls.

The first waterfall was Crow Mountain Creek Falls 1Crow Mountain Creek Falls (we passed by Dick’s Creek Falls, which we both had photographed before, and there were a lot of fishermen there). Around 3 years ago, I found out about this waterfall, only finding one photo of it on the web. So I tried to find it, bushwhacking up the creek for 1 hour before giving up–on the way back, I came across the trail to the falls, but without time to go back. So I have wanted to visit these falls to see them for a while. We followed the book’s directions, and followed a old logging road up for 1 mile up to the top of the falls, and were definitely impressed by them. They are a series of multiple cascades and slides that descend for more than 100 ft. The only problem is that there wasn’t really a great viewpoint to photograph these falls well. The first photo here I actually fell on the wet rock getting into position, and dropped the camera, though it has (thankfully!) been working well since then–thanks for being weather resistant!

Crow Mountain Creek Falls 2We continued down the side of the mountain, trying to find a viewpoint of the falls that really displayed how impressive they are. Toward the bottom of them, I found this vantage point, which I had to climb onto a bunch of downed trees to get into, but I think gave the best perspective I could find. The falls in first photo are all in the uppermost part of this second photo, just to give you perspective on the size of it. Though we had to admit they aren’t the most photogenic falls, it was a very cool waterfall to see (finally for me!), and the sun stayed away enough for photography. So mission #1 for the day was accomplished.

The next task was to get to Upper Blood Mountain Creek Falls. Both of us have previously been to Milddle and Lower Blood Mountain Creek Falls, but not the upper falls. Pool Below Upper Blood Mountain FallsWe used a higher-clearance vehicle to cross Crow Mountain Creek, and drove to the end of the road at the entrance to Blood Mountain Wilderness. Then it’s a easily-followed trail for 1 mile (the last 1/2 of which along Blood Mountain Creek) to the upper falls. At the base of the upper falls was this beautiful little cascade into a nice pool Upper Blood Mountain Creek Falls on the right, really showing off the nice setting here. Then you have to climb a little up a bolder field to get to the base of the upper falls, the main drops of which are around 40-50 ft tall. As you can see in Scott’s photo, the water spreads over a rock face, then takes a sharp right turn down the mountainside. We sat and just enjoyed the setting for a while, then returned back up the final hill to the car.

There was one final stop Upper Dick's Creek Falls this day, which was a “bonus fall” that we didn’t know before existed, Upper Dick’s Creek Falls. We saw it right beside the road to Upper Blood Mountain Creek, but visited it on the way back, especially since there were fishermen there the first time. We stopped by and visited this nice little 20 ft fall as the finale for the day. It was not an amazing fall, but required no effort to get to, and still has the wonderful brown creekbed color I love in north Georgia. Visiting 3 waterfalls that I hadn’t seen before made this definitely a successful day!

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