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North Fork Stony Creek
Lens: DA 21, FA 28, FA 50 macro Camera: K20D Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 01-02-2014, 07:49 PM

It's been several years since my last visit to this remote waterfall on the shoulder of Holston Mountain. It's about 11 miles total hiking, about 8 on trails and about 3 miles of off trail crawling through rhododendron thickets. With all the recent heavy rains, I was anxious to see how my old "friend" was flowing. First part of the hike includes that Appalachian Trail and the Holston Mountain Trail, following the crest of Holton Mountain from just south of Bristol Tennessee. Did not take any photos along the way - since I already have plenty of photos from these fine old forests, and needed to keep a good pace to get back before dark.

Although temperatures were above freezing up on the crest of the mountain, it got considerably cooler as we approached the deeply-shaded creek.

Here's a typical view of North Fork Stony Creek, perhaps a half mile upstream of the falls.

It takes some careful climbing to get down to the base of the falls. It's about a 40 foot drop into this natural amphitheater, and all the rocks were quite slick!

But it was certainly worth the climb! Falls were about as full as I've ever seen them. Sherpa guides (Sherpa Guides | Tennessee | The Tennessee Mountains | Watauga Ranger District of Cherokee National Forest) call this spot "the most picturesque in the Stony Creek Scenic Area." They also mention (in 1999) another way to get to the falls starting from below, on an old, unmaintained trail. But that trail appears to have disappeared into the rhododendron thickets.

Spent way too much time admiring the falls, and so had to hike back at almost a running pace. The dogs certainly enjoyed the run! Hope you enjoyed the view of this remote wild place, and that you'll share your comments & critique!
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01-02-2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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beautiful photos of the falls, but I really like those frozen pics, thanks for the view Ranger.
01-02-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
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Those are stunning.
01-02-2014, 10:15 PM   #4
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Great shots! I really like your treatment, especially in the ice photos.

01-02-2014, 11:10 PM   #5
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Great set! Thanks for sharing.
01-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #6
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Wonderful shots, I like the clarity in the macros. The composition in the second landscape image is great.
01-03-2014, 02:23 AM   #7
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Outstanding series! Just wonderful.
01-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #8
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My favourite subject... ice and water. Beautiful outstanding series.

01-03-2014, 07:03 AM   #9
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Great series. I always enjoy your photography.
01-03-2014, 09:40 AM   #10

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The best set yet--those "hours-per-mile" rhodo crawls have a way of making you late for supper, but it was well worth it, it seems.
01-03-2014, 02:58 PM   #11
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Original Poster
Bob - Ice sure can be a fascinating subject - but I'm glad we don't see it too often!

Tony - Thanks so much!

GeoJerry - So glad you enjoyed the frozen views!

Stefan - And thanks for taking time to comment!

Pentaxpixie - Thanks! That FA 50 macro is a sharp little lens...

Norbert - Thanks for your kind words!

Tess - I enjoy these too, but sure don't see ice as often as you do!!

Dice - Thanks for saying so!

CreationBear - Rhodo crawling was especially tricky this time, since it also involved holding two dog leashes! (My pups are sweet but not smart! The last time I let them off leash near this end of Holston Mt, the smaller one chased a bear and got bitten! Now they stay on leash!!)

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