Sunday, May 24, 2015

House Mountain State Natural Area

With Mom and Dad G in town, Noelle and I were afforded the luxury of time alone together. For our date we opted to go hiking and our destination on this fine Sunday was House Mountain State Natural Area in Knox County. It was an hour drive to the natural area. We parked the car, changed into our hiking boots and then hit the trail.
noelle on trail
The lower stretches of trail featured some wildflowers,
flower and fly
including lots of spiderwort,
and some large boulders scattered here and there along the side of the trail.
big boulder
We ascended to the ridge of House Mountain on the Mountain Trail. For the most part it was a pretty gradual ascent, except it got a bit steeper as we approached the ridge.
hiker Noelle

At the intersection with the Crest Trail we made a right and headed over to the East Overlook.
noelle at overlook
It was a beautiful spot with distant views to the high mountains of the east. We ate a snack there and then moved on heading west on the Crest Trail. We took a short detour up to the site of a communication tower and what appeared to be the former site of a fire tower, we then backtracked down to the main trail, past more large boulders,
on top of boulder
and over to the West Overlook.
other overlook
The West Overlook was not nearly as open as the East Overlook had been. We did not stay there for long, but started our descent on the West Overlook Trail.

The West Overlook Trail was very steep at times. Luckily we had no major problems on the descent. The trail passed alongside an interesting cliff line
hiking along cliff
and past bunches of Indian Pink in bloom.
Indian Pink
Soon we were back at the trailhead and the car for our drive back to Greeneville.          

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