Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ozone Falls & Black Mountain With the Family

Close up of Pink Lady Slipper 

Ozone Falls & Black Mountain with the Family

Kenny & Dana Koogler

Crystal, Michael and Tessa Lindsey

Sunday May 1, 2016

1 mile RT

   I have a wall in the office downstairs of waterfall & hiking photos framed.   Tessa noticed
Ozone Falls the most. She asked several times "You take me see dat watersall, Nanny?" 
I promised her I would.   Spring at Crab Orchard is a wonderful time.  Pink lady slippers are 
everywhere on Black Mountain.  Ozone Falls is about seven miles away.  We planned a family 
trip for after church one Sunday.  Adam was away at an archery tournament so we would fill
up the time while he was away.  We figured he'd be home about the time we were or shortly after.
After church we changed clothes quickly and grabbed some lunch and off we went!

    Ozone Falls is a roadside attraction with a total hike distance of maybe 0.2 miles if that.
It is still a place you have to be careful especially with kids.  We avoided going to the brink of the falls today.   We also took the trail instead of walking the road like we usually do.  Route 70 was 
busy today since it was a weekend.  Lots of people visiting here today, but even so we found a parking spot.  Visitation here is nothing like the Smokies. It is busy, but no comparison to the crowds in the park.    The trail here to the base is rocky and slick in spots.  We kept having to remind Michael
to wait on us. He climbed like a natural down those rocks. He was headed for the base of the falls.
The kids liked the "caves" that undercut the rock cliff the trail goes by.   Soon as the falls came into view they started hollering about it.  Kenny carried Tessa down since she is so little yet.  
Crystal helped make sure I didn't fall and after the spill I took yesterday I was glad for the help.
We all made it down to a great view of the entire falls.   I sat down and started taking pictures.

 Ozone Falls is 110 ft high.  The stream here disappears a short distance down from the falls.
 Kenny, Crystal and Tessa.. Michael is barely visible.  He is determined to keep going.

Crystal and Tessa enjoying the falls. Tessa brought her toy camera and took pictures of things.
Nanny will get prints and give them to her so she can have her pictures she took. 

    Michael kept having to be fussed at and called down for not listening. He was hellbent for leather to get to the base of that waterfall.  Kenny gave up and just took him on down.  Tessa was not going to put up with that so she set up a fuss.  Kenny came back after her. Finally we all made it down there.  It really is worth going to the base to experience it.  We did not try to go downstream today.
There is no trail down there and the boulders you have to climb on and around are large.   Finally both kids were satisfied.  They beat their chests like Tarzan and bellowed.  They pulled up their shirts
and let the mist off the falls cool them. It was getting hot today in the sunshine.

 Kenny and Michael at the bottom.
 Crystal and Tessa "taking pictures".
 Michael age 7. He is Jungle Jim.   I like his new haircut. Nice and short for Summer.

 Tessa Grace age 2. She's a wild woman.  This is one of the chest beating, absorbing the waterfall mist, moments.  Her curly hair got even curlier while we were there from the mist in the air.

    Directions for reaching Ozone Falls from I-40 West 
Turn off I-40 Westbound at Exit 338 Westel Road.  Go left at the end of the ramp onto Westel.
Travel 2.5 miles to SR 70 Ozone Road.  Travel 3 miles to a signed pull out on the left for
Ozone Falls State Natural Area.   Additional parking is available across the road.
The trail to the base parallels Rt. 70 behind the information board.  

Below is a short video of Ozone Falls.

Black Mountain Next 

   We got done at Ozone Falls and after something cold to drink a snack of watermelon we moved on
toward Black Mountain.  We planned on hiking to the overlook and seeing the flowers along the path.
We had also thought we'd go down into the Rock Town there and let the kids run around and play.
It is easier to take Rt 70 from Ozone Falls so you don't have to back track to the interstate.  You'd get off the interstate at Crab Orchard, but Rt. 70 is quick and scenic.   Easy travel.  

       We arrived at Black Mountain which is part of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park.
We saw lots of pretty wildflowers dotting the sides of the road on the drive up the mountain.
We arrived at the parking lot to find only one other vehicle here today!   Compare that to a busy Sunday in the Smokies.   No thanks on the crowds.   We gathered up the baby toting backpack, the regular backpacks with drinks and toys and set out.   We hiked in the shade to start and it was so pretty.  Yellow trilliums, dwarf crested iris carpets, loads of pink lady slippers and ferns were in the woods along the trail.   It is an easy almost level trail.  Tessa walked most of it.  

      Our first stop was the spring house.  We also checked out one of the old homesites atop the mountain.    Tessa then decided she wanted to be carried so Crystal carried her a short distance.
Michael was not one bit concerned about the trail distance. It was easy to him.
 Pawpaw and Tessa at the spring house.  The kids liked this.
 The family on the trail.
 Michael checks out the old chimney.

We saw hundreds of pink lady slippers today!  

           We arrived at the overlook pretty quickly.     We had to figure which trail lead to the little bridge.  They have bridged a gap in the rocks to make it safer to get to the overlook.
The bridge to the overlook.

 Tessa hanging around while Crystal takes pictures with her phone.
 The kids played in the holes of water atop the mountain.
 View out across Grassy Cove toward Brady Mountain from Black Mtn. Overlook
Another view off the Black Mountain Overlook.

          The view from the overlook was gorgeous.  We all liked it. The kids liked it a little too much.
The overlook is an unfenced, unguarded view point. A fall from here would kill you.  The kids do not fear it or see the danger here.  We did not stick around too long because we kept having to take turns corralling them to keep them from going off the side of the mountain.  It was nerve wracking.
I kept them busy playing with rocks and holes of water long enough for Crystal and Kenny to check some stuff out.   Then we got them down from there before anything bad could happen.

        We had first thought we'd take them down among the rock town below the overlook to play.
Kenny and Crystal took one look at the 'trail" that leads down to the rock town and said no way!
The kids were getting hot and restless.  They were done with it.   I told them if they wanted to 
we could go back to the spring house and take the safe path that leads to the rock town? They were not interested at this point.   They wanted to go home.    We went down the trail a short distance and
turned left through the woods. We walked out on a paved service road.  The kids ran most of the way.
A few cold drinks and snacks and we loaded up for home.   We were going to stop for icecream on the drive home.   I-40 has bridge work going on and both lanes of traffic bottle neck at Kingston.
We tried the detour to avoid all that. It was worse than the interstate slow down.  We were not stuck
in the traffic jam too long.  Kenny turned us around and we just went down interstate 40.  It was slow but it was at least moving.   Our delay and not convenient place for icecream made us decide to forget it.  We stopped in Alcoa on the way home and Pawpaw treated everyone to supper instead. 
He is too good to us.    Full tummies and we all felt better.  We had fun, but we were all glad to be out of the car.  Adam got caught in a traffic jam coming home too and was later than he wanted to be.
I will avoid any future trips in that direction until the bridge work is done after May 26th.

 Black Mountain Directions: 

From Ozone Falls go about 7 miles to Crab Orchard along Rt. 70 west.
Turn left on market street which becomes Bat Town Rd.  Go 1.8 miles to a left turn
onto Owl Roost Rd. which is also Black Mountain Rd.  Follow it out about 3 miles to a 
dead end at the parking lot. No restrooms here.  Plenty of parking.  The trail head is on the far 
left behind a gate.  The service road is the first thing you'll see on the side of the parking area.
the overlook is about 1/2 mile out.

You can travel I-40 west and get off at the Crab Orchard exit.  Turn left at the end of the ramp and 
follow the directions as above to reach the top of the mountain. 

When you come to the split in the trail at the little spring house.. go right and uphill for the trail 
to the overlook.  If you want to go into the rock town the safe way.. go left at the spring house
and you'll be under the overlook among the rocks.  


Tessa and Pawpaw.  She got her wish today plus some!  She thought the wildflowers and bugs and lizards were cute.  :-)


  1. I would love to explore this place and stand in the waterfall :)

    1. I would like to see you stand in the waterfall. The pool there is very deep.


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