Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015-04-12 Jack and Amys Anniversary Weekend Getaway - Day 2

Jack and Amy's Anniversary Weekend Getaway
Day 2 - Sunday, April 12th, 2015
Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

 Amy and Jack at Cherokee Falls
Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

Cloudland Canyon, GA has long been on my list of places to see.  So that would be our main destination for the day.

As usual, I got up before Amy and decided to head outside.  While the view from our Cabin was pretty awesome, it faces due north.  This means it is really not a good spot for sunrise. 

Sunrise from our Cabin

Once Amy was up and ready, we hit the road towards Cloudland Canyon, about a 30 minute drive from the cabin.

We took a short and easy stroll along the Overlook Trail to check out the views and get a feel for the Canyon!

 Cloudland Canyon

There is a nice distant view of West Rim Falls on the opposite side of the Canyon.

West Rim Falls

Our main hike of the day would be The Waterfalls Trail and the Sitton Gulch Trail.  This would be about a 3.5 mile Out-and-Back Hike for a total of about 7.0 miles.  The Waterfalls Trail is basically a steep 400-foot descent into the Canyon made up of over 1,200 well constructed steps!

The first waterfall we stopped at was Cherokee Falls, which was spectacular!  Definitely one of those must-see type waterfalls for all you waterfall lovers out there!

Cherokee Falls
 Amy reading a book by Cherokee Falls
This is what she likes to do while I photograph waterfalls!

Next up was Hemlock Falls!  Equally as impressive as Cherokee as it is very similar in size and style.  The only drawback is the viewing platform with signs stating that it is unlawful to leave the trails and viewing platforms!  Assuming you obey the rules and stay on the platform (which I did), it really only leaves you one vantage point to shoot this awesome waterfall.

 Hemlock Falls

Amy and Jack at Hemlock Falls

Just downstream form Hemlock Falls the trail crosses Daniel Creek on a well constructed bridge.  This is the official end of the Waterfalls Trail and the Start of the Sitton Gulch Trail.

There are several more un-named, but very nice waterfalls along Daniel Creek and a virtually endless series of scenic cascades.

Waterfall #3 along Daniel Creek

Waterfall #4 along Daniel Creek

 Waterfall #5 along Daniel Creek

 Nice Scenic Cascades along Daniel Creek

I knew there would be some nice waterfalls, but what really made this a spectacular hike was the stunning display of wildflowers.  This could very possibly have been the most impressive wildflower hikes I had ever done!

Amy along the Sitton Gulch Trail
an awesome spring wildflower destination!

Here is a small sample of what we saw.

 Foam Flower


 Wildflower ???
 Wildflower ???

 Wildflower ???

 Wildflower ???

 Toadshade Trillium and Golden Ragwort


 Mayapple Blooms

Dwarf Iris



The Sitton Gulch Trail also passes by the base of West Rim Falls.  You can't see much from the trail, but I decided to scramble up for a closer look.

 One of the Lower Drops of West Rim Falls

West Rim Falls

The 1,200 + steps you have to climb to get back to the parking area made this hike not quite Amy Approved!  Once we got back to the car, she declared that she was done with hiking for the day.  But I still had one more hike in me!  So Amy found a nice spot to relax with her book, while I hit the West Rim Loop Trail.

The West Rim Loop is a 5 mile hike around the West Rim of Cloudland Canyon.  It was a nice mostly easy hike with some spectacular views!

 The West Rim Trail

 View from the West Rim Trail

along the West Rim Trail

Cloudland Canyon is truly a spectacular place!

After a full day of hiking, we decided to spend the rest of the day relaxing at our cabin.  We took a nice long soak in the hot tub.

 Amy getting the Hot Tub Ready!

The evening temperatures were just cool enough to justify lighting a fire in the fire pit.  We spent the rest of the evening hanging out around the fire.  What a great way to celebrate our Anniversary Day!
Amy and Jack around the fire pit

I also made a few more attempts at some night photography shots.

 Night view from the back deck of our cabin

Night view from the back deck of our cabin

The complete set of photos from Day 2 of our Anniversary Weekend are posted here:

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