Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Completing the Sewanee Creek Trail and Enjoying its Features

In early Spring 2019, I completed the Sewanee Creek Trail from the top of the bluff near the 'Triple Castle' rock outcropping all the way down to Sewanee Creek (about a 400' drop in elevation from 1,800' to 1,400').  Soon thereafter, I found an easier path to the creek from about 2/3 of the way down, going westward to the creek, thus creating what has become (at least for me) a commonly-used loop toward the bottom...a gentle way down and a steep way back up to where the two paths split.

Castle #2
Cool features of the Sewanee Creek Trail include the 'Triple Castle' feature at the outset.  This feature consists of three rock outcroppings end-to-end that can be negotiated, with the last (3rd) outcropping providing an incredible view of the entire Sewanee Creek Gulf. I have taken visitors to, and personally photographed the Triple Castle feature on several occasions.
Gary Stephes and Joe Nerio (hiking friends)
Castle #3

Rock Shelter from Creek
Easy-route view of Creek
There is the trail itself, that passes through multiple bluff regions, a substantial rock field, large trees (featuring, among other species, large hemlock and beech trees in abundance), a cave-like rock shelter (steep route) and a lower flat area from which the Creek can be easily viewed (easy route).

Cave on opposite side of Creek
Close up view of entrance area
There is a substantial cave on the opposite side of the Creek waiting to be explored.

There is the 'island', that is special in and of itself.

The "Island"

There is the stream of water that flows out of the the side of the mountain, that, during dry periods, exhibits greater flow than Sewanee Creek, itself.

Grant Miller observing stream flowing from inside the mountain

Sewanee Creek funneled
Same creek bed during dry season
There is 'the narrows,' where the stream is funneled, and the floor of the stream consists of large smooth slabs of rock, jigsaw puzzled together, creating a table-top stream bed.

There is so much more to explore, both upstream and downstream.  I have done some exploration, and plan to do much more in the future.

Creating additional trails leading to Sewanee Creek, and ultimately connecting to the trail I have already built, could be done.  I'm thinking primarily of Miller Creek downstream, and the Creek on Lot #21 upstream, both of which feed into Sewanee Creek and both of which have substantial waterfalls that would make these additional trails highly desirable.