Tag Archives: waterfalls

Suter Falls, Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

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To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs

Just living the simple life. And loving every sweet moment!


Mother’s Day Weekend for an Outdoor Addict

I spent my Mother’s Day weekend doing three of my most favorite things. Saturday morning I ran in a trail race (and finished 1st place in my age/gender division, yippeee!), I hiked alongside my family to a beautiful waterfall and enjoyed an evening of indoor rock climbing as well. It was great! Although it was a far from perfect weekend in many ways (my special needs son had many, many struggles and hard moments), it was imperfectly perfect to me. I hope all you mamas out there got to celebrate doing something you loved.

And unfortunately I didn’t bring my good camera, so I’ll bore you with cell phone photos instead.

photo (7) I’ve never won first place before, so of course I had to wake up the babe and make the kids pose with me! photo (9) photo (10) photo (12) photo (13) photo (14) photo (15) photo (16) photo (17) photo (1) photo (2) photo (3) photo (4) photo (5)The hike to Ozone Falls is short but the views are spectacular. Definitely a family favorite!

I promise I’m going to pick up the blog again. Really and truly this time!

Hiking to Agnes Vaille Falls in Chaffee County, Colorado

On our very first morning in Colorado, we decided to get our hearts pumping with a short hike that was just a hop, skip and jump away from our cabin. Although it was an extremely easy hike, it offered some great views of the surrounding area. Since we weren’t sure how treacherous the trail was (steep cliffs, etc.) we put the boys in the backpacks on the way up. Turns out that the trail is pretty mild with only a couple of dangerous but manageable areas. The kids were able to hike back down the trail with no problems at all.

The Agnes Vaille Waterfall Trail is a short 1/2 mile hike through Chalk Creek Canyon in the San Isabel National Forest that ends with a large waterfall plunging from the peak of Mt. Princeton.













Little Man exploring

Big Brother chillin’




This is definitely a short hike that is family-friendly and worth a visit! I loved how the scenery and even the smell of the forest was so different from what we are used to in our ancient Appalachian forests. We really enjoyed spending our morning here. More Colorado adventures to come…

Wednesday Waterfalls

O Child beside the Waterfall
what songs without a word
rise from those waters like the call
only a heart has heard-
the Joy, the Joy in all things
rise whistling like a bird.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I hear them too, the brief
heavenly notes, the harp of dawn,
the nightingale on the leaf,
all, all dispel the darkness and
the silence of our grief.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I see you standing there
with waterdrops and fireflies
and hummingbirds in the air,
all singing praise of paradise,
paradise everywhere.

-George Barker

Suter Falls, Cumberland Plateau, TN

Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mountains, TN

Unknown waterfall along Fiery Gizzard Trail, Cumberland Plateau, TN

Another waterfall along Fiery Gizzard

Waterfall in Tettegouche State Park, MN


I have a bad case of waterfall-withdrawal. I am so ready to hit the trail again and find some cascading water. Until then, I will just reminisce about my favorites.

Where are some of your favorite waterfalls?

3 trails in one day…

and this was bound to happen:


Today we explored several different areas of the South Cumberland Recreation Area, which is part of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.  We’ve been hiking here for years, but today we actually took pictures :).  We visited Suter Falls, Grundy Forest, and the natural bridge at Sewanee…all very easy, short hikes.

Suter Falls:

Suter Falls is my absolute favorite waterfall in all of Tennessee.  The hike is ridiculously easy and short, but it’s still my favorite spot.  I highly recommend it to anyone in the area, but try to visit after a good rain.  Usually, the water flow is better during the winter when it is generally wetter around here, but this year we were fortunate to have a wet spring. I think this is the first time we’ve made this trip in the spring and it was awesome!






Grundy Forest:

The Grundy Forest day loop trail is another very easy hike that takes you into the Gizzard Cove.  The trail is beautiful and follows Fiery Gizzard creek.  This is a very kid-friendly hike that is convenient to get to and easy to hike.  Beautiful cascades and waterfalls are abundant and the foliage is usually pretty lush.  The shade provided by the trail makes it a good pick for a mid-summer hike.





Sewanee Natural Bridge:

The natural bridge at Sewanee isn’t really a hike, but rather just a great spot to go and see.  If you are in the area, it’s definitely something quick and easy to visit.



Wow, what a great day of hiking here in TN.  I’m so happy it’s been a wet and stormy spring because it makes for some amazing water falls and lush foliage.  We haven’t had a wet spring in years so I’m a bit giddy.  I wonder where we’ll end up next weekend…

5.10.09 Virgin Falls, Cumberland Plateau TN

Mother’s Day…the first one with River home.

This day last year was one of the worst of my life.  We had just received bad news regarding the adoption.  It seems ironic now, but last year on Mother’s Day the wind was insanely strong and just being out in it was enough to drive you crazy.  It never let up the entire weekend.  Standing in that wind last year was somehow symbolic of the turmoil going on in our lives at the time.  It somehow captured the struggle we were up against. After spending all day in the wind, my physical body had felt the same way I did inside.  Wind blown.   This was last year.

This year, well, this year was awesome.  Peaceful, serene, beautiful, perfect.  Ironic how fitting this day was.

The hike to Virgin Falls is an excellent one.  It is a moderately difficult hike that can be strenuous in parts.  Today we hiked approximately 10 miles encompassing roughly 1200+ feet of elevation change.  The weather was perfect with highs barely reaching the 70’s.  Altogther we spent about 6 hours on the trail.  It was the perfect time to do this hike due to the large volume of rain that fell during the previous week.  It made for some nice water flow and we were not disappointed.  The mud was pretty ferocious and we all three left very muddy and drenched in creek water.  We had to cross several creeks that were at a much higher level than nomal for spring time.  There were many falls but the two big ones we hiked to were Big Laurel Falls and Virgin Falls, the namesake of the trail.  We actually let River hike along with us (out of his backpack) for several stretches of the trail and he did awesome.  He HATED to go back into the backpack, but some areas were too dangerous due to water, cliffs, ledges and rocky paths.

We’ve done this hike before…I think perhaps it was last winter while we were waiting to travel to Vietnam.  I’d rate this as a moderate hike.  Some parts are a little strenuous but the scenery is spectacular so you hardly notice.  All in all, it was a great day and a great hike.





Big Laurel Falls:




Virgin Falls: