Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Surprising Neighbors & A Favorite Hike

Saturday August 4, 2018                                                                  Most Recent Posts:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park                                               Search for Stone House Along a Raging River
Tennessee                                                                                        Visiting Colin – FINALLY!

It’s another day threatening rain when these two pull up and park at the rig next to me.  Not sure how much fun they’ll be in the rain.   Boys and their toys. 

Even though it is threatening rain, I’m going back to the Middle Prong of the Little River to see how the previous rains have affected it.   There are 3 waterfalls here where the Lynn Camp Prong and the Thunderhead Prong come together to create the Little River.

I’ve been here previously and talked about the area, its history and the small community of Tremont. I also gave a much  more detailed look at the trail.  If you are interested in that post, you can find it here

The trailhead is 5 miles down the road going to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.  The last 3 miles, past the institute, are a gravel road.  The road dead ends at the trail head.

From the bridge, I can see the water is up.  Looks great!

Looks like some flooding.


The trail is an old rail road bed used by the Little River Lumber Company to haul the big trees out of the area.  Details and pictures of the trail are in the previous post.  This one is all about the numerous waterfalls and cascades.

Less than a mile up the trail is Lower Lynn Camp Falls.  It is possible to do a scramble down to the bottom and one up to the top which I did on my last visit.  If you aren’t a scrambler, there is still this fine view from the trail.

Here’s a video if you want the sounds as well as the pictures of Lower Lynn Camp Falls.

I do scramble up to the top again for these views.

Click for sounds from the top.

These two really close up pictures of the swirling rushing waters are my favorites from today along with a couple of others taken later on.



At about the one mile point I arrive at Upper Lynn Camp Falls.


Another favorite shot.

I walk around the falls takinig pictures from every angle.  So beautiful!



It looks quite different from the top.  A ladder of water running down in steps.


Here are the sounds of Upper Lynn Camp Falls.


The Lynn Camp is a wonderful companion as it sings along my way.


Never too many sounds of water in my opinion.  I want to be able to hear them forever.  Here is a short video of Lynn Camp Prong as it runs along and of this waterfall opposite.

In my previous visit, I almost missed this little fall along the far side of the trail but today I don’t.


The trail is rough and wet so a hiking pole is a necessity in my mind.


After taking the hike last time, I learned that I missed the Cadillac.  This time I keep my eyes out on the far side of the trail for a little social trail going to it.  They say it is a late 20’s/30’s model.  Not much of it left at this point.


It appears to have been pretty well stripped.


At 2.5 miles I come to the Panther Creek intersection which goes left across the river.  Possibly in dryer times people walk across.  I chose this spot to have a little snack and watched some folks, who have no trouble with water at this level, move on to toward Panther Creek



Check out the depth of the water on the horse’s legs as they cross the stream in this video.


In honor of John and Pam, it was a snack with a view.

This fellow showed up and moved s….l….o….w….l….y  along.



At about 3 miles, I pass by more evidence of the previous residents and wondered whether the weather or some jerks toppled the chimney.  I met an older couple hiking up this way.  He was quite a talker and has lived in this area all his life.  He had stories to tell including that he had known the man who lived in this house.   I didn’t want to presume to ask for their picture.


At just over 4 miles there is an unmarked trail head that leads to Indian Flats Falls, my destination for today.


On the way down to the falls, who should I meet coming back up but the couple I mentioned earlier, Mountain Mike and Cookie.  I had stopped many more times along the way than they had, thus they are leaving as I arrive.  This time I asked for their picture.  They cautioned me that the trail was very slippery and to take great care. 

I meet them again on my return trip and walk along with them for a while enjoying Mike’s stories.  He tells me he is 82 and has been hiking here all his life.  When he was a boy, he visited the Walker sisters, sat on their front porch and even bought a poem from Miss Louisa.  He knows where every house along the trail was and who lived in it.  To say he’s familiar with the old Tremont community is an understatement.


Here I am at the top tier of Indian Flats Falls.  It’s roughly 20 feet.  The falls is a total of 60 feet in three separate tiers  I was able to get this video of Tiers one and two but no pictures the third tire which is further down and far too difficult to reach for me.  At least on this wet slippery day.  



Luckily for me, everyone seems to be leaving as I arrive.  I’ve taken the slow train here knowing that on a Saturday I’d have company but it’s worked out perfectly.


Last video of this gorgeous place on this wonderful day.



Over and over on the four mile hike back to the trail head I encounter groups of these yellow swallowtail butterflies in the gravel on the trail.  Here they were interested in horse manure but that wasn’t always the case when I saw them.

As I drove out, I wasn’t surprised to see the horse trailer that had come 3 miles up this gravel road but the Motorhome did surprise me.  I guess if you have no toad . . .

Great day!  Wonderful hike!  Over 8 miles and 21472 steps!  And some new friends, Mountain Mike and Cookie!  May they always be hiking.

Next up is another fantastic hike this time to a non water destination.  Clingman’s Dome and Andrew’s Bald.


  1. Great post and wonderful photos!!! Your photos really show the power of that water...amazing!!! So cool that you met Mountain Mike and Cookie. Always a treasure to meet people who know the history of the area. 82 and still hiking...so there is hope:o))

  2. Hope I will still be alive & hiking at 82 - Mike looks younger. With all that water it is no surprise you loved this hike & all the rushing water, falls & cascades. Great snail pictures.

  3. Beautiful pictures of the falls. You have that mastered.

  4. Wow, lots of water today and I liked that photo with a swirling water around a rock. I have to say you have conquered and explored most if not all of the water falls at GSMNP! Hiking at 82! impressive, im not sure if I am still around at that age :)

  5. While lots of rain can get old, it sure makes for wonderful falls and full creeks to explore! Your photos are beautiful. What a treat to meet Mike and Cookie and learn more about the area from someone who knows it so well. A poem from Louisa!!

  6. Come on, be truthful. You know you'd like to take one of those toys for a spin or two. :cD

  7. Great when you can find the oldtimers and hear their tales. You do get to learn an area when you stay in it for awhile.

  8. Wow, what great people to run into. Love to hear stories of the areas we're in too. Great snail pic :)

  9. I hope I'm still hiking at 82! That's impressive. I think you will be. :-)) I agree with you, my favorite photos of the day are the ones you took of the water swirling around the rocks. You captured the movement of the water so artistically.

  10. I absolutely Love these waterfall hikes, especially to hear the power of the water. Mike and Cookie are an inspiration, as are you.

  11. So neat to have met Mountain Mike & Cookie! 82-very impressive with stories to share. The water looks and sounds terrific. Great hike and view for a snack. Neat looking snail fully stretched.


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