I've had some folks very curious about the old CCC Camp, Clock Tower and the stone school ruins hike. For me, this is one of the most educational and enjoyable hikes in the park. Third time's charm right? So let's do it again, this Sunday! It's a very cool and medium difficulty hike. We we'll only have one significant water crossing, so hiking poles and waterproof boots will be helpful, but not mandatory. If you are careful, you won't need either of these unless we've had lots of rain a day or two before the hike!
The hike: We will see some of the most unique historic sites and hike partially along the gorgeous Pigeon river. There are two hills but not difficult. I consider this hike as a moderate one. Most trails are wide, gradual and former dirt and grass road beds (Old Newfound Gap Road). Once we leave the visitor's center we will take the Old Sugarlands trail head towards Cherokee Orchard approx. 2.5 miles. We should be back by 6PM or just before dark if everyone wants to slow down.
We'll visit the depression era CCC camp and see how they pumped mountain stream water via a dam, valves and piping into their once standing dwellings. We'll strike some poses in front of the old clock tower (which isn't really a tower) then, venture a little off trail approx. 1/2 mile, and cross a vibrant small stream with cute little cascades to get to the stone house ruins. Hopefully, this stream will be "little" depending on previous rain fall.
Once again, bring hiking poles or be prepared to let others lend a hand to you. It's usually only about a 4' rock hop. There is only one other stream previous to this one, but it's usually only wet enough to muddy your feet. Waterproof boots aren't really needed unless the rain has been significant.
Bring a decent snack to eat. We'll dine at the stone house ruins, and of course, bring water and your camera. There will be some "high stepping" over fallen logs and trees since our recent winds. No worse than Pilates. :)
I encourage, and by no means push, anyone who'd like to bring a scripture pertaining to Creation or you'd just like to share a story of God's blessing's with the group, please do so.
I'd be happy to assist anyone who'd like some tips with their photography, along the way.