Friday, November 27, 2015


Joyce Kilmer Memorial Plaque


Dana & Kenny Koogler
Hike distance 2.5 miles approx.

Friday Nov. 27, 2015

     I did not want to go Black Friday shopping today. I flat refused to get into that mess. 
We had originally planned to go do something in the Smokies, but Kenny changed his mind
and wanted to go to Santeetlah instead.    I won't argue with that. We always have a great time hiking and exploring in that area.   We headed out pretty early and did some scouting for a future trip first.   Once we got that out of the way we explored a waterfall we saw on the way down the forest service road.  All the foliage off the trees you can actually see the river and the
banks on the far side.    We saw a nice waterfall dropping into Santeetlah Creek.

        We bushwhacked down there to see it.   It was nice and the entire setting was beautiful.
The sun was finally coming over the ridge. We had perfect weather today. It warmed up to about 60 degrees.  Sunny and mild.  We were having fun and getting some exercise.
The falls we found would not be worth a special trip down here, but it was neat since we were in the area.   

 Santeetlah Creek just above the falls

Bottom section of a large waterfall with no name. It drops into Santeetlah Creek.  

 Getting ready to bushwhack out of there!

Pot holes in the rocks!

    Slippery rocks, getting what Kenny calls cod locked in rhodo and bank scrambles were the order of the day.    My joints have been hurting like a son of a gun, but I hung in there and did it all today.

        Next we went up toward Wolf Laurel and visited  the lower falls on Cold Branch.
Mainly because we were in the area already.  It was running pretty well today.
Lower Waterfall on Cold Branch.   I read you can hike from the Swan Cabin to this falls, but after closer inspection I am not sure they aren't just talking about coming down a trail to the road and bank scrambling. I don't think the terrain will permit any trail right to the falls from any approach.

           We ate lunch next. I love a good ole turkey sammidge after Thanksgiving.
Next we headed down toward Joyce Kilmer Memorial Loop to hike to see the big trees.  We'd onlly done that once before and it was long ago.  Kenny wanted to see them again.

 Bridge over Santeetlah Creek
 Lower Loop Trail
 Top of a massive poplar
Kenny in the picture for scale. giant poplar tree.

   The first people we saw today were here at Joyce Kilmer.  Not many, but a few were out hiking.
We hiked the upper and lower loops and decided to head toward Santeetlah Dam.  I hoped they'd be releasing water. I got my wish.  We were past there in Summer, but didn't get to really check out the dam.  

 Santeetlah Dam is very old but it still generates power.  The water being released looks like one big white sheet.
Ivy reclaiming some sort of cement structures near the dam.

We were both tired and had a long drive home to face.    We made a big circle and went home by way of the Dragon.   It was shorter and quicker and the traffic was not too bad. It was good to get home.

Above is s short video of the waterfall we found today.


  1. That unamed falls looked pretty good to me. Probably wise that you passed on my hike. It was a killer! I am tired boy today!

    1. Thanks. it was real pretty. The stream is gorgeous. Got another pet project that will be a killer. I'll email you or call you to tell you about it. I hope you had fun if you worked that hard!


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