Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Our second day at Big South Fork, we had intended to do a longer hike. But we decided to run into Oneida for some decent firewood. And if we were driving that far, we might as well do a hike in the Tennessee area of the park as well.

Angel Falls is an easy 4 mile out-and-back trail (2 miles each way). It follows the Cumberland River from the parking area at Leatherwood Ford. Continue reading “Angel Falls”

Princess Falls

Princess Falls

Big South Fork has so many amazing trails. We were looking for something pretty, but easy. Since we were staying at the Blue Heron Campground, the Princess Falls hike looked like our best option.

The Princess Falls trail is accessed at the Yamacraw Day Use Area, just east of where Route 92 crosses the Big South Fork. Park at the top of the hill. We were the only car there when we headed out. Continue reading “Princess Falls”

Blue Heron Campground

Blue Heron Campground

Many campers have a love-hate relationship with Memorial Day weekend. On the one hand, it is a treat to spend three nights in a row – two full days of hiking! On the other hand, everyone with a tent and a sleeping bag descends on our favorite parks. Our normally tranquil hikes and haunts become clogged with hordes of families.

A couple years ago we lucked into the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. We enjoyed the trails and the campground. We found plenty of seclusion for a holiday weekend. Such a big contrast with our trek to Abrams Falls! So when we procrastinated a bit on making this year’s reservations, we were thrilled to find two adjacent sites a couple months out in such a beautiful area. Continue reading “Blue Heron Campground”

Mammoth Cave Campground

Mammoth Cave Campground

Mammoth Cave Campground is the main developed campground at Mammoth Cave National Park. The 105 sites are laid out in three loops through a nicely forested area. Shade should be plentiful in this campground. On recreation.gov sites did not seem to be reservable until mid-May, but plenty of sites were available when we arrived after 9:00pm. Of course the lows for the night were predicted to drop below freezing, so campsites may be more scarce in warmer temps.

We selected site 81 as it was dark when we arrived and seemed no better or worse than the rest. Next trip we may try to select one of the sites that run along Green River Ferry Road. There is a little valley¬†just beyond those sites so the view and breeze seem like it would make those sites¬†optimal. Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Campground”

Mammoth Cave Sal Hollow Trail

Mammoth Cave Sal Hollow Trail

 

This weekend we picked our hiking destination based on weather.com. Cold temperatures and light snow were predicted for most of a three hour radius of Cincinnati, so we aimed for as far south as we dared go on a Friday night. We had avoided this park on previous trips because the reviews of the trails were not particularly positive. Much of what I had read was that the trails were nearly ruined by horses. But we figured muddy trails were better than snowy trails and got into the campground late Friday evening. There was the added bonus of crossing into the central time zone on the way.

Our first stop in the morning was the ranger station to get the obligatory passport stamp and seek opinions on the best trails in the area. The visitor center was chaotic with those purchasing cave tour tickets. The rangers were not particularly helpful in selecting a trail, but informed us that over 70 miles of trail were available. This was very appealing already. So many of the longer hikes in the midwest take us from road bed to backyard with little wilderness in between. We looked forward to actually getting away from it all. Looking at the map we devised a loop with the Sal Hallow and Buffalo Creek trails and headed for the Maple Springs trailhead.

Mammoth-Cave-National-Park-Map-Web-2 Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Sal Hollow Trail”