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This second installment in a three-part post about an Appalachian autumn road trip from Florida to Georgia is part of our Retro Roadtrip series.


Red Green Autumn Leaves

Note: The following revised and annotated post is part of our new Retro Roadtrip series. This 3-part post is about an autumn road trip I took by myself from Florida to Georgia and was originally posted November 15, 2008, on my Nathan’s Uncle blog.

It would be safe to say that this time my mountain trip was all about hiking. When I am in the mountains I walk almost every day at Meeks Park in Blairsville. Like most of the parks I have visited in Georgia, it is impeccably maintained. It has a loop trail that takes you up and over the hills, through the forest, and along Butternut Creek to the point where it flows into the Nottely River. Almost every afternoon you will find the squirrel man there feeding the animals. It is amazing how he has tamed the squirrels and birds that come down and sit on his head or perch on his shoulder. The day I took these pictures it reminded me of a scene from Snow White.

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Tuesday afternoon I drove over to Tallulah Gorge State Park to participate in the Full Moon Suspension Bridge hike. The weather was cool, the sky was clear, and the gorge was breathtaking. It took a while for the moon to rise during the hike, but it was still nice. I was hoping for one of those big orange harvest moons, but alas that moon came Wednesday night. Check out the Tallulah Gorge web site for a wealth of information about the park to help plan your visit.

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Hurricane Falls

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The upper rim trail was paved with recycled shredded rubber tires. Like walking on air.

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Bottom of the gorge.

On Thursday I took a loop road trip up to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, across the Cherohala Skyway to Robbinsville, North Carolina, and back to Blairsville, Georgia. It was an amazing day packed with my favorite things . . . fall color, mountains, forests, hiking, and a waterfall to boot.

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An abandoned roadside cabin in Tennessee.

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When I reached Tellico Plains, I stopped at the visitor center, and then walked through the gift shop and museum next door. It was a small facility, but it contained several fine collections of telephones, radios, currency, firearms, and such. Back on the road, I entered the Cherohala Skyway. A few miles down the highway, I took a side road to Bald River Falls. The winding drive along the river was relaxing, and I enjoyed the many interesting rock formations on the banks. The water level was low, revealing even more craggy black rocks in the river bed.

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Bald River Falls

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Scenic overlook on the Cherohala Skyway.

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Santeetlah Lake

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Remember the Rock City advertisements from childhood vacations?

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My favorite fall foliage, a sugar maple, in Robbinsville, North Carolina.

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Note: The most amazing part of my road trip was hiking the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest near the North Carolina terminus of the Cherohala Skyway. Both locations were so amazing that within the past year I wrote separate posts for them both.

Continue reading Retro Roadtrip: Appalachian Autumn Part 3.

Previous Post:
Retro Roadtrip: Appalachian Autumn Part 1

Click here for even more Appalachian autumn adventures.


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Meeks Park in Blairsville, Georgia

Talullah Gorge State Park

The Cherohala Skyway

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

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Howard Blount is founder and co-owner of the travel blog BackroadPlanet.com. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Although his road trips are financed by his day job as a middle school teacher, Howard would much rather be doing anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, inspirational quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists. And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.
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