Sat, Jul 22 2017 - Hike Inn Loop Plus Stairs Plus Extra Distance (View Original Event Details)|
We started at the visitor's center, following the pretty little creek upstream until we reached the lower cascades of the falls and The Stairs. We enjoyed climbing the falls up to the top as we caught glimpses of green-carpeted mountains in the distance. Continuing along the AT Approach Trail, we noticed at least half a dozen different species of mushrooms, purple, yellow and white wildflowers, woodpeckers and other birds, a grazing deer, and a few friendly hikers.
We were greeted at the Hike Inn with peach cobbler, more friendly folks, and even air conditioning. Looping onto the green-blazed trail, we made our way down (with a few ups) to the top of the falls. Turning onto the East Ridge Trail, we picked our way down a gravel path which changed to dirt and roots for the steep descent.
We couldn't ask for a better group of AOC'ers nor better weather - plentiful sunshine and a cool breeze coming off the falls. The rain held off until we were back on the road headed home, then the skies let loose with a torrential downpour.