Adventures in the Southern Appalachians & Beyond!  






January 24th, 2009 I had the pleasure of hiking the Rocky Fork tract for the first time since it's official purchase by the U.S. Forest Service earlier this month.  This purchase made it fully protected land, and before this happened it was supposedly the largest unprotected area in the Appalachian Mountains.  This is an enormous achievement, and  for the many people who worked so hard to make it happen, I for one am extremely grateful. 


If you haven't been in Rocky Fork, you need to check it out.  My photos do not give justice to the beauty of this wonderful place.  The short hike I did today is only a small taste of what Rocky Fork's 9000+ acres has to offer people like hikers, backpackers, photographers, fishermen, hunters, and all types of outdoorsmen.  Not to mention the great impact this acquisition has on the protection of it's wildlife, plant-life, and the crystal clear mountain streams.  


To read more on the Rocky Fork acquisition CLICK HERE.  To see some of my previous hikes in Rocky Fork Click HERE & HERE & HERE.        


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Beautiful Rocky Fork

  Icy Waterfall
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Frozen "Triplets" Waterfall   Small Cascade

I didn't have a lot of time, so I started at the main trail-head and followed the Rocky Fork stream for approximately 0.8 miles until I came to a crossing.  I wanted to head on to the historic Flint Creek battleground, but it was a little too cold to cross the stream today, so I turned around and retraced my steps.  I took a lot of photos of the stream along the way.     

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Rocky Fork 


Small Waterfall with a Green Pool


After arriving back at my car I drove down the road for just a couple tenths of a mile where I found the small waterfall above with the green pool, and then on downstream where I photographed the 10' Rocky Fork Falls.  On the way back to Erwin, I saw this neat old barn so I stopped to photograph it as well.      

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10' Rocky Fork Falls   Old Barn Near Indian Creek, on the Drive Back to Erwin

Total Miles Hiked:  1.6 


Getting There:  


Driving - Take the Flag Pond exit off of I-26 (exit #50).  At the stop sign turn left onto Higgins Creek Road. Drive mile until you reach Rt. 23.  Turn right and travel 2 mi. thru Flag Pond, then turn left on Rocky Fork Road. After mi. you will see a gravel pull-off to the left. Park here (out of the way of the gate) and follow the gravel lane into Rocky Fork on foot.        


Trails - To follow my route from today:  From the parking area, head out on the graveled road.  The Rocky Fork stream will be on your left.  You will come to an open junction in the road where you need to bear left, continuing to follow the stream.  Soon you will come to a stream-crossing.  This is where I turned around.  However, if you continue by crossing the stream, you'll eventually come to the convergence of Flint Creek and the Rocky Fork stream.  In the adjacent field to the right, there was a historic battle between John Sevier's troops and the Cherokee and Creek Indians...  Another reason why the protection of this land was so important.


There are no official trails in Rocky Fork yet, however there are numerous forest roads and primitive trails to explore.     




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