Delsatch Falls

85' Delsatch Falls

The wet and rainy season is upon us, and with mountain streams at very elevated levels, our local waterfalls are really putting on a show right now.  So I returned to the Clarks Creek area of Unicoi County, which is packed with numerous waterfalls, and I went on a hunt for another one which is remotely located and tough to get to… the 85′ Delsatch Falls.

This wasn’t quite the extreme bushwack that I had when finding Upper Sill Branch Falls last week, but it still requires  a lot of determination.  Clarks Creek must be forded eight times (16 times round-trip), and if you don’t get wet up to your shins or knees on these crossings, then the waterfall will probably not have enough flow to make the hike worthwhile.  In other words, if you want to see Delsatch Falls putting on a good display, then plan on getting wet.  There is some bushwacking required too, and it requires some navigational skills as there are no blazes marking the trails… so this is not an easy hike.  See my Hike Planner and map below for a detailed trail description. Read more »

Categories: Day-hike, Waterfalls | Tags: | 8 Comments

Upper Sill Branch Falls

50' Upper Sill Branch Falls

After a failed attempt last month, I returned to the Clarks Creek area of Unicoi County, and I finally found the remotely located Upper Sill Branch Falls.

This hike is not for the faint of heart, or beginning hiker.  It’s a tough bushwack in very rough terrain.  The “trail” is extremely overgrown, unmarked, and in many areas it has been devasted by the Pine Bark Beetle.  I had to work my way through numerous areas of very thick underbrush, climbing over and under blown down trees, and at some points walking directly up the stream bed to get around impassable obstructions.  I even took a pair of hand-loppers and a small saw to help clear a path.  I took my GPS  as well, hoping to get a track of the hike for others to use as a reference, but I had trouble keeping reception in this deep ravine.  If you decide to go on this adventure, see my detailed “Trails” descripion in the Hike Planner below, and use it in conjunction with the provided map. Read more »

Categories: Day-hike, Waterfalls | Tags: | 9 Comments

Elk Falls & Jones Falls

100′ Jones Falls

I took advantage of all the rain this week and hiked to two of the most grand waterfalls in our region… Elk Falls and Jones Falls.

Elk Falls (also known as Big Falls) is probably one of the most visited and well-known waterfalls in the area… easily accessible by car.  And with a 45′ sheer drop and plenty of water volume, it’s a great site to see.  However, Jones Falls is just as impressive (or more) with the right weather conditions, but rarely visited due to it’s location in a somewhat remote area off the Appalachian Trail.  Few people realize that you can visit both at the same time with a moderate, short (3.6 mile) hike.  Getting to Jones Falls from this direction can be a tad confusing though, so read my “Trails” directions below very carefully before you set out.  I also have a download of the GPS track of the hike, along with important waypoints, in the Hike Planner below, if you have a GPS unit. Read more »

Categories: Apalachian Trail, Day-hike, Waterfalls | Tags: , | 11 Comments

Pinnacle Mountain Trail

View from Pinnacle Mtn

View of Unaka Mtn from the Pinnacle Mtn Trail

I thought the best way to start my brand new blog was with a brand new hiking trail… the Pinnacle Mountain Trail, located in Unicoi, Tennessee.

This trail was just completed by the Forest Service about a month ago, and it’s a nicely designed trail with a 4-5 foot width, many switchbacks, and an overall average  grade of less than 7%.  Read more »

Categories: Look-out Tower, Summits, TN County Highpoint, Vistas | Tags: | 4 Comments


Welcome to the new!  As you’ve probably already noticed, I have a brand new design… now in blog format.  I hope everyone finds this  to be more convenient, informative, and interactive  than the old website style.

Even though I’ve designed and maintained websites for years, I’m fairly new to blogging, so this will definitely be a work in progress.   I’m very excited about it though, and I plan to have a lot more information to share than with the old site.  I will continue to keep the old site archives online, so you can still retrieve that information from the tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here:  Old HikingBill Archives

Please feel free to comment or leave suggestions!

Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments