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

Henry David Thoreau

You are NOT here

Friday April 29, 2011
Site 79 C
Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee

We’ve been having
our share of conflicts between sleep and electronics.
First the LP detector and now
my cell phone decided to notify me at 1am
that someone had sent me an email.
Clearly I had forgotten to turn it off.

It turned out to be another beautiful no rain day.

After a bacon and egg breakfast,
 we went out to hike the Byrd Creek Trail
which I had run on Tuesday and
wanted David to see.

It is a yellow blazed trail
that runs along the creek on one side,
crosses over and comes back
on the other side.

It's a lovely shady  trail
all about beautiful water
and big trees 

There are  large old growth trees

and big tree huggers

Several different kinds of fiddleheads were up

Beavers appeared to be in training
Isn't the tree is supposed to fall out into the water
in order to create a dam?

Fire Pink on the trailside

About half way around
the Byrd Creek yellow blazed trail loop,
you can extend the hike by taking a further blue blazed loop called the
Cumberland Overnight Trail.
After looking at the posted map and its YOU ARE HERE information,
we determined that we could go .65 mile up this additional 6 mile loop and
come to another suspension bridge. 
At that point, we’d just turn around and come back to the yellow blaze
 and our hike would be just over 4 miles total.
So that's what we did.

This trail was much less cool and dark
than the beautiful hemlock/pine covered yellow trail. 
The forest here was mostly second growth mixed hardwoods.
There were several lovely sections
including one with wild geraniums
nearly covering the path. 
AS usual, neither of our cameras does this experience justice.
The geraniums were everywhere.


The sides of the sunlit trail were also covered
with young trees of every kind trying to get a start
in the competition for light.
David took a lot of pictures of their young little leaves.
Here's one

There were also numerous wildflowers along the trail
including Solomon's Seal

False Solomon's Seal

Huge patches of May Apple

in bloom
(the twin leaves are the only ones that bloom)

Poplar tree tulip flowers along the path

and other folks out enjoying it all too

When we came to a barbed wire fence on our left,
indicating the park’s boundary line,
and we’d been hiking an hour,
we knew something was wrong.

We checked the pocket map
but couldn’t see how we’d gotten to where we were
from where we’d started.  
But according to map,
the bridge was over 4 miles from here. 
Something had gone wrong.

So we turned around and went back having missed the bridge.

But, the section of the Blue blazed trail we had hiked
was well worth it. 

When we got back to the trail intersections
and looked again at the posted map,
it was very clear that
NOT where we were at all.

The posted map was wrong
and based on its information, we’d taken the wrong leg of the Blue trail.  
The pocket map's print was too small and fuzzy for that kind of detail.
So it was no help at all.

NOT COOL Cumberland Mountain Trail folks.

David fixed their map for them when we got back to Winnona.
Now we just need to find an email address to send it to.
Not sure how they will feel about his use
of the frequent Tennessee "honey".

Soon after getting back on the Byrd Creek trail
we came to this great bridge built in 2005
as an Eagle Scout project by Lee Suydam.

Notice the Boy Scout Symbol
Nice touch!

The rest of the Byrd
Creek loop was lovely
with some of the biggest and healthiest hemlocks
and other trees that we have seen. 
The adelgid either hasn’t gotten here yet
or is in its early stages of infestation.

A few stream crossings later and

near the end of the yellow blazed trail, it intersected
with the Red blazed 1 mile Cumberland Plateau Trail

So we took that toward the back of the dam.


Two of the spillways were open.

The Cumberland staff had done a great
job of controlling the flooding by lowering
the level of the lake several days before
all the rains.  You can see that in pictures on previous posts.

Now they had let the lake rise
and it was lookin' fine.

On our return we stopped at the Registration Center
to tell them about the map problem
and  then returned to leftovers for dinner. 
Just what you want to have available when you return from hiking.

We sat out on the patio reading for a while
and came in as the sun set.
Tomorrow is our last day at Cumberland Mountain
and it is supposed to be lovely so we have a packed agenda
of things we couldn’t do in the rain
and want to do before we leave on Monday.

See you then.

The creek was flowing fast as a result of the spill over the dam.

Cumberland State Park's pocket trail maps
leave much to be desired. 
The maps at every trail intersection are much clearer
and easier to read.


  1. Nice hike even if you didn't get where you thought you were going;o))

    Enjoyed the wildflower photos and info.

    Keep having fun!!

  2. Looks like a nice walk in the woods to me. The suspension bridge would have been a little scary. I like solid structures or ground under my feet. Safe travels.

  3. Love the boy scout bridge along with their emblem.

  4. I hope that you didn't get jealous with David hugging that tree instead of you! Nice to see some old growth trees still going strong.

    That Eagle Scout did a great job on that bridge. A talented young man.

    Glad you found your way out of the mis-marked trails, I'd start having withdrawal symptoms if I didn't see your posts. :c)

  5. Hi Sherry,
    Nice hike! Nice area...I'm starting a list of campgrounds and places to visit, this will be on it.
    If I can ask a question, where did you get the fill in map on the side of your blog, and can you tell me how to use it?

    Thanks bunches!!

  6. Thanks for the great trail explanations! we're saving your info for a future visit. That's my kind of country!


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