Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kiner Creek Falls

It was an uber-bad day for waterfall picture taking but a really nice day to go walkabout. I went to Laurel Run Park in Church Hill, mostly looking for wildflowers in bloom, but I was probably about a week early for that too. Regardless it was a nice trek to a new place.

Once you cross the bridge the trail starts on an old logging road. The old road was pretty muddy in places as it followed the creek up the mountain. The creek must be crossed eventually without a bridge. In times of higher water like today you may need to wade across the creek, so I'd recommend wearing old shoes. I was able to rock hop across today .... barely. After crossing the creek it's just a little ways further to Laurel Run Falls. It was overrun with folks today, some wading just above the main falls, most sitting on the rocks in front of lower section, so there was zero opportunity to get a picture without folk in it, so I figured I'd go on to Kiner Creek falls and get pictures of Laurel Run on the way out.

I continued on the main trail a little further to a point where the creeks fork. Straight ahead (the smaller stream) is Kiner Creek. I took the trail to the left that climbed uphill or a short distance and then a switchback to the right, then continued on the trail another 1/4 mile. If you listen closely you can hear the falls on your right - it sounds different from the cascades in the creek to this point. There are two trail/slides down the hill, the first goes to the base of the falls - it's the steepest and hardest to navigate. The second comes out right at the top of the falls - be careful.

I did the second trail first but there were no picture taking vantage points, so, I climbed/slid/fell down the first trail to the base. It['s pretty neat down there, you can walk behind the falls - which I did - to get to a trail on the far side. The picture above is a three-exposure bracket. It was so bright and sunny I had to use an 3-stop ND filter plus a polarizer just to get a bit of blurry water.

Rumor has it you can take the trail on this side of the creek back out, which I tried. Either I lost the trail, or it's in such poor shape that it's not easily recognizable, regardless I went back the way came in. The same folk were still all over Laurel Run Falls so I just skipped the pics and hiked on out.

Directions from Jonesborough:
Take I-26 toward Kingsport TN to Exit 1 (Stone Drive - 11W)
Head west on 11W 8.5 miles until you reach Church Hill
Turn left on Goshen Valley Road and follow the signs to Laurel Run Park
Travel 0.8 miles and turn left on River Road
Travel 2 miles and turn left on Laurel Run Park Road
Travel 1.3 miles to the park.
Once at the park, bear right and park at the amphitheater.

No comments:

Post a Comment