Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Paint Rock, North Carolina Pictographs

Well it's official. The federal government shutdown has begun. I worked a half day today and then headed home. Hopefully this furlough will not be a long one. We could really use the income! Anyway, I decided to take advantage of my unwanted vacation by heading over to Paint Rock on the North Carolina/Tennessee border to check out the rock art there.

I drove into Hot Springs and parked in the public parking area near the railroad tracks. Then I walked across the French Broad to check out the North Carolina Department of Archives and History sign for Paint Rock.
Paint Rock sign
I took a photo of the sign and then headed back into town. I detoured into the property of the hot Springs resort to check out the Civil War historic sign there before returning to my car.

I then drove to River Road, which I followed to the North Carolina/Tennessee border and Paint Rock.
Paint Rock and River Road
I got out my binoculars and then headed over to the rock face to scan for the pictographs. There was a lot of graffiti on the lower sections of the wall. After scanning the rock for about 10 minutes I found what I had come for. A panel of faint red and yellow pictographs in a very inaccessible section of rock about 20 yards up the wall.
Paint Rock Pictographs
I admired the pictographs for a bit, then scanned the rock for more. I did not see anything that I could positively identify as rock art, though I am sure there was more at one time before modern visitors defaced it.

Around the corner from the rock art panel the road begins to follow Paint Creek. I headed in this direction and then found a distinct user trail that led up to the top of the Paint Rock cliff face. There were some remarkable views of the French Broad River valley and the surrounding mountains.
French Broad from Paint Rock
Looking Downstream on the French Broad
This has to be one of the better view points in the area. I'm surprised that the spot is not better known. After admiring the view
Eric on Paint Rock 
I returned to the car for the drive back to Greeneville via the Paint Creek Corridor, driving past the shuttered Paint Creek Campground. 
Shut Down
    

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