First time ever I saw a sign posted that read "foot traffic only beyond this point." Hmm, that's a new one. Understandably so once I past the sign. Rough rocky terrain on a trail that led to the overlook here on the left that was sheer cliff on three sides.
Saturday night...I did another one of my favorite things. Stopped by Subway, grabbed a sandwich with intent to "picnic" in the woods looking out over scenery and silence that enhances any flavor!
I've had my eye on Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area here in Chattanooga for some time...and particularly an area I've not previous explored. The north rim overlooking the Tennessee River. Unfortunately, I didn't get out to the trail as early as I wanted so had to cut my hiking time short due to "darkfall", but it was still stellar nonetheless. (I'm not the biggest fan of "down and back" hiking...as I much prefer loop trails...but hey, when it's a rim trail...I'll take it!)
I started with dinner at the overlook here in the above photo. (Snooper's Rock Overlook) and then after a quick chat with some other hikers I met there, off I went north along the trail towards Indian Rockhouse and Stone Door. I wasn't in any real hurry because the views were stunning...and I knew I'd have to turn around soon. The most moving thing of this day's experience was the silence. It was eerie how quiet the woods were this late in the day. I could hear dogs barking in the valley below. At one point I just had to sit down and simply enjoy the stillness...and observe the beauty of this place.
I turned around and headed back to the trail head as the sun began to drop below the mountains and couldn't help but notice how good the air smelled too. So much so that I took in such a deep breath of this air that I could taste it. Spring was in that air!
Truly another spiritual experience as I wandered the woods observing the sheer beauty that nature provides. It's never the same. NEVER. ...and as I came back by Snooper's Point two young guys were standing on that rock...one of which was playing his guitar. I stopped by and listened in for a few minutes. The three of us standing there looking out over the valley.
no words...there are no words for moments like these.
For more info on this area complete with hiking map see: