Red Fork Falls

Our last hike for the day led us to Red Fork Falls in Unicoi County, Tennessee. This was by far the best hike of the day, a little more adventurous and one that got your heart pumping a little more.

We got off at exit 32 on 1-26, and headed towards Unicoi, Tennessee. The trailhead for the waterfall was located off of Red Fork Road and was marked with a large red circle on a tree.

According to the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce website, the waterfall, which is 80 feet high, is located in the Limestone Cove Community.

IMG_0344There was quite a bit of climbing involved in this hike, either on rocks or on tree roots located on the path. I’m starting to become good at seeing the hand and foot holes when climbing up and down rocks.

We crossed two creek beds before we found ourselves along the top of the waterfall. This is when we found many places that gave us plenty of opportunities to get a view of the cascading water.

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Thank goodness for digital camera’s, everything was worthy of a photograph at this waterfall.

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And the hike continued, so we could get a better view.

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IMG_0356Until we saw the water plummet over the edge.

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It became prettier the more we hiked down the trail.

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IMG_0361It always amazes me to see where all the water flows, especially when it cascades down such beautiful rock formations.

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A beautiful waterfall . . .

IMG_0365The best part about this waterfall is the water kept going, which made us want to follow the trail.

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IMG_0373We climbed out on the rock ledge at many points, so we could get the full impact of this beautiful waterfall.

IMG_0374Although it was all stunning, I have to say the pictures below are some of my favorites of the day.

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IMG_0378We wanted to head further down the trail to see more of the water that we were hearing, but the trails were not clearly marked and it was getting late. We will just have to visit this waterfall again.

On our hike back up the trail, we stopped for yet another view of the bottom of the waterfall.

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IMG_0381Before heading back out the trail, we ran into a local who said he has visited the falls since he was 4 years old. He said the waterfall was the driest he has ever seen it, which only makes me want to go back and see it again.

The Cherokee National Forest, an incredible place to be!

Another great day out in nature with Jason. We have had so many incredible adventures as we seek out more waterfalls to add to our list of ones we have seen.

The smiles continue

Yesterday still has me smiling … I can still see the beautiful scenery we saw as vividly as if we were still standing in front of it all.

I have a new found love for nature, one that grows more every time my foot hits a new, or old path, Jason and I have traveled.

There was just something about yesterday …

The rain started coming down above almost instantly after we started our hike yesterday. Jason gave me the option of going back to the car and sitting it out for a while, which I won’t lie, sounded like a good idea. The look in his eyes, those beautiful green eyes, I couldn’t say no to, so we kept going. What’s an adventure without dealing with the elements right? At first the rain was cold and puddles were growing on our path … but within time the only drops we felt were falling from the trees as the wind began to blow.

It’s funny what stands out while you are in your own thoughts taking in the surroundings. I remember a cluster of red leaves laying on the ground as we started to descend down the never ending rock stairs. Jason laughed because he knows we would never get to our destination, or beyond for that matter, if I stopped and took pictures of everything. Now I see everything as a picture, something I have to capture, so I can relive that moment.

You develop this new appreciation for nature as you hike through the wilderness.

Something as beautiful as a spider web with the light shining through, a rock laying nearby, the water flowing through the creek or roots that make up the beauty of the base of a tree catches my eye more and more.

The fresh smell after the rain, the breeze that hits your face as you near a waterfall, the instant jolt of cold that starts at your toes and travels to your fingertips when you step in the water and the calmness that takes a hold of you when you see the pure beauty with your own eyes of what mother nature has done …

This is why I feel rejuvenated during and after our hikes.

In addition to all of that, an intensified love for Jason grows as he helps me overcome my fear of heights every time we go out. His patience and understanding of when that fear leaves me motionless is overwhelming. When I reach a certain spot that looks sketchy, it’s hard to move on … I don’t want to make that move and fall. It’s the gentleness of his voice, the extended hand that I grab a hold of, or the guidance of where to put my hands and feet, so I don’t fall … and that look, the look of encouragement, that look that “I can do it,” makes me soar beyond what I think I am capable of doing. The embrace he gives after the fact and the emotion filled remarks instantly grabs a hold of my heart. I am one lucky girl to have a man like this.

Hiking cleanses my soul and fills my heart with so much happiness.

Jason and I share endless smiles as we explore together. Every adventure only brings us closer, only provides us with endless memories of what we shared.

I cannot stop smiling today … I’m happy, I have an amazing life, one that only gets better as the days go by.

I am fortunate to have found the love of my life for the second time … and I am overjoyed that we live in a place that affords us so many breathtaking views that we can get up close and personal with.