Sea of Ferns

sea-of-ferns

After the rain stopped around lunchtime today I decided to hike along the north side of the mountain where the ferns cover the landscape. July on the mountain brings a sea of ferns in this areas where the ground stays moist. The forest floor has changed so much in the last 4 months but I especially love the sea of ferns that take over this time of year.

giant-ferns

We only reached 63 degrees F yesterday but today we will be closer to 80 degree F. Not much sun to speak of yesterday, it rained all day and night and before it finished this morning we had slightly over 1 inch of rain.

 “We love the things we love for what they are.”   — Robert Frost

 

If you are interested in trading a few garden plants, check out my recent post, Plant Exchange.

 

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Hike Along

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mountain laurel

Last Saturday afternoon I had a couple of hours and decided to take a hike into an area I had not hiked before and where the terrain is extremely steep. My hike took me across the mountain on the north side thru heavily covered areas of Mountain Laurel.

maountain laurel and rotted stump

I have mentioned in other hiking post that I have been hunting for a cave that was used by soldiers during the revolutionary war and a revolutionary war grave site. There are historical records with articles talking about this cave and grave site. I continue make hikes across the mountain in my attempt to find both of these.

green moss

Soon I was standing at the top of a gorge that is about 1500 feet deep trying to figure out if I was going to be able to hike down, trying to find the best path down.

moss

I could hear water running, maybe a small waterfall. After searching for a clearing so that I could look over the Mountain Laurel, I could finally get a look at the bottom of the gorge. I had not hiked down this gorge before but I was determined to get to the bottom.

green moss growing on rocks

Almost to the bottom, decide to snap a couple pictures.

bottom of borge

It took me about 35 minutes to get to the bottom and it was worth my efforts.

huge white oak tree

Pair of huge white oak trees!

native ginger plant

I checked my compass in the direct the creek was flowing to determine if I could follow the creek. It appears the creek is flowing south which should eventually take me down the mountain. I will continue to watch my compass so that I can easily make my way back to the house.

native yellow wild flowers

 

animal bones

Animal bones, maybe a squirrel? Was it eaten by a fox, coyote, eagle, hawk, owl maybe?

green moss

Moss is growing all along this creek.

large rock

 

mountain stream

The water is crystal clear and cold.

mountain stream

There are several small waterfalls along this creek..

snail

Can you spot the snail?

purple wild flowers

 

waterfall

 

moss

Moss and ferns growing on rocks.

waterfall

This waterfall is about 20-25 feet tall.

yellow alage growing on rocks

 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for new and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy your day!

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Rainbow Falls

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rainbow waterfalls

Early fall my daughter Lauren and I hiked the trail from Camp Greenville to Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is located on the Camp Greenville property in the northern most area of upstate Greenville County, South Carolina Mountain Bridge Wilderness area. This is a really nice short hike to a beautiful waterfall.

All visitors are required to get permission from the camp office before hiking; it is recommending calling ahead to the office at 864-836-3291 for permission. The trail head is unmarked but is just past the main building of Camp Greenville, on the right you will see a small parking area for about 3-4 cars. If you continue to drive to the end of the road you will come to Pretty Place, Symmes Chapel,

trail to rainbow falls

From the trail head, you move quickly through rhododendron and mountain laurel then lots of rock and boulders.

The hike to Rainbow falls from Camp Greenville is a 1.8 mile out and back, the trail is strenuous and is rated difficult 7. The trail descends down the side of a steep sheer cliff into a rugged gorge so the footing is extremely steep and can be treacherous in rainy or icy conditions. The terrain is very steep, rocky with huge boulders and at two places the trail requires the use of ropes to safely maneuver the trail. It is pretty much hard core all the way down into the gorge that will take you about 45 minutes if you are in good shape.

rainbow falls

The falls are part of the Saluda River, view down stream from the falls.

rainbow waterfalls

The hike ends with spectacular views of Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls plunges 140 feet over granite cliff surrounded by granite walls

rainbow falls

The view shows the granite rock formations. The water is ice cold year round.

rainbow falls

All of the rocks around the falls are cover with moss and are extremely slippery. Many people fall and get hurt, broken arms and legs when trying to get to the falls every year.

rainbow falls

Needless to say, the hike back up the cliff takes more time and effort than the downward hike but is well worth the hike for the waterfall and views from the trail. As you ascend you can rest along the various ledges and boulders.

It is also possible to hike to these falls from Jones Gap State Park. The trail  from Jones Gap is longer but not as strenuous and not as steep. The return hike is all down hill.

Take time to view my woodwork.

Small Waterfalls

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 mountain waterfall

I have read many articles about a cave on our mountain that was used during the revolutionary war and a revolutionary war grave site. I have made many hikes across the mountain in my attempt to find both of these. This time I decided to hike across the Southside of the mountain about one-third down from the top. Since there are no trails I had to use my compass to stay on track. My hike was about 2 miles round trip in some really rough terrain and dense trees.

south carolina waterfall

After hiking for about 35 minutes I found myself in a huge ravine that impossible to get across so I followed it down the mountain hoping to find a away across. Then I found a large spring, water was bubbling out of the ground everywhere. As I continued to walk down the ravine there were numerous springs that had formed a good size creek. I continued to follow the creek and before I knew it I could hear water falling. It got louder as I got closer and finally I could see there were two waterfalls.

waterfalls

It appeared many, many years ago someone had built a wall with a 10 foot long channel that pooled the water that then lead to the first fall. The water from a creek like this was often used many years ago to make moonshine. This water is very cold and crystal clear. I climbed down to see the waterfall and below the fall was another small pool of water with another small waterfall.

waterfall on paris mountain

The waterfalls are on the South side of the mountain, I checked my compass and the falls are facing exactly 180 degrees south.

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High on Siler Bald