19E to Dennis Cove

June 16th & 17th   


DAY #1 - 12.6 Miles Hiked 


Shannon and I got a shuttle up to the Highway 19E A.T. trailhead on Saturday morning (leaving our car at Dennis Cove), and began our northbound backpacking trip around 9:00.  We started out in a little rain, but it soon cleared giving us a pleasant day of hiking through a lot of different types of terrain.  We ascended through forests, logging roads, old tree farms, and grassy fields, along with passing numerous streams, springs,  and two waterfalls. The highlight was Jones Falls, where we stopped for lunch and to take a bunch of photos.  I have to say that Jones Falls is my favorite waterfall that I've seen all year.  With over 100' of drop (and a lot of water flow on that particular day due to rain the night before) it was very impressive.


After Jones Falls, we descended down to Elk River where we followed it for a couple of miles before our climb up Walnut Mountain.  From there was passed Mountaineer Falls (a small, but pretty waterfall), and the new Mountaineer Shelter.  We soon crossed Walnut Mountain Road and found upper Laurel Fork where we decided to set up camp.  


Our campsite was nice as we were in a level spot right next to the stream, but everything was so wet from the rain that I couldn't get a fire started to help dry our clothes.  But, we still cooked on the gas stove, and had a good dinner of noodles and summer sausage.  After 5 or so games of Yahtzee, we went to bed.    


(Click all images for larger photos)


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Shannon Crossing a Stile Early in Our Hike

Majestic Jones Falls - 100' Drop

Near the Upper Tier of the Falls 

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Bill Near the Upper Tier 

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Shannon Cooling Off in the Fall's Mist
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Shannon Near the Upper Tier... This Photo Gives a Better Perspective of the Size of the Falls 

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More of Shannon and the Falls

More Views 
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Shannon Coming Down Some Man-made Steps on Her Way to Elk River  Mountaineer Falls  Our Campsite, Right Next to Laurel Fork

DAY #2 - 11.4 miles Hiked

We slept in just a little on Sunday morning, and finally got started at around 9:00 a.m.  After a mile or so Shannon began having trouble with blisters on her heels and we stopped a few times to doctor them, but to no avail... they ended up giving her worse trouble throughout the day.  

This hike was again very pretty.  We climbed to the summit of White Rocks Mountain, which was our high point for the entire trip at over 4200 feet.  It was also easy to see how this mountain got its name as there were numerous large boulders scattered across the top of the ridge.  There were also clearings that gave us nice views of the neighboring Roan Highlands.  Near the end of the trip Shannon's feet were really hurting, and it was slow going making our way down to Dennis Cove.  We also passed up the side trail to Coon Den Falls, but talked of possibly returning there soon with the kids.  We ended our hike at around 4:00 p.m., completing approximately 24 miles.    

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Shannon Doctoring Her Blisters

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Roan Mountain in the Distance 

Bill at the Summit of White Rocks Mountain
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More Wonderful Views Nice Views on the Descent into Dennis Cove  More Views