So me and a buddy headed out Saturday morning at 10:00am and started I-65 northbound. We arrived bout 12p and made our way out to Kinlock Shelter. I had decided to see this first since we could not camp in the area of the cave. Wow! A beautiful place to hike to. Trail maintenance needed for sure. You definately have to know where you are going to get to this place. No signs, trail markers, I mean nothing.
After seeing the shelter/cave, we headed over to see the Kinlock Falls. Read that there was a swimming hole so I brought along the ol trunks. Again a beautiful place. There was a pull off but again no trail marker or sign to say "Hey its right here". Glad I printed off a Google Map! (I truly feel I should get paid for that last statement) The water was frigid. Couldnt bring myself to imerse, so just alittle over the head and walked around in the shallow end. It was a bit of a time getting in and out as well. Just a blue rope with some knots tied in it to help you.
After lunch overlooking Kinlock falls we headed to the trail head to hike into our camping spot. We started the hike in and it was a tight squeeze in some parts. Again this was a non maintained trail and we would just hope that it took us to the right place. At one point a tree top had fallen and it seemed the trail just ended, we had to look around to track down the trail again, we had that pucker factor for just a moment. The pine thicket was really incredible and then it just opened up to some hardwoods. We followed the small stream down to Parker Cascades. This was not much to look at due to lack of water but tranquil non the less.
We found the falls shortly there after and was just amazed. Beautiful area that just made your mouth drop. Trees growing out of the side of the mountain. Green moss on the rocks around you in every direction. Perfect trees to hang my hammock. The sound of water hitting the rocks. A little piece of heaven and Im sitting dead in the middle of the stream after a fall on a slippery rock, looking at it. Even the fall seemed to be filled with grace. My hiking partner said it looked like I was in slow motion and it felt it.
The overnight was pleasant. The other two hammock campers that took the best spot in the valley didnt make too much noise. Damp wood made a small fire for alittle while. I fell asleep about 9pm and woke up about 7am. Good nights rest. Breakfast, a few more pics and out we went.
For my first night in the hammock, I could not be more happy. Glad I did all the research at home before getting out and expecting it to be perfect the first time. Whoopie Slings definately made it easier.