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  1. #1
    Member Crocodile Sanders's Avatar
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    Bankhead Forest, Parker Falls

    One of my sons, his friend, my Labrador retriever Greta and I passed a fine time in the Bankhead Forest hammocking Saturday night. A friend had suggest Parker Falls, so I looked up the location of the trailhead on my Topo map, and off we went.

    Well, the trailhead wasn't reflected accurately on the map, but we found it anyway and set off down what turned out to be a decent (easy to follow) trail through some thick evergreen woods. The first half of the hike was fairly level ground, then the going got considerably tougher descending into the canyon. Thankfully I had my hiking poles with me! All in all the trail was probably close to 2 miles long.

    There were a couple of fire rings; we found decent trees for our 3 hammocks near the best of the fire rings and set up camp. The falls were not in view from the campsite, which kept the sound of the waterfall at a really nice level, kind of like waves on a beach would be.

    This trip had a couple of purposes, the first being to actually start enjoying the Bankhead Forest, which is a cornucopia of canyons and waterfalls. It was also this son's first hammock outing, and he was most interested in how his ENO DN and Pro-Fly would work for him (very well indeed!!).

    We carried very little water in. I brought a Platypus water filter and filtered the water flowing in Parker Branch. It was delicious!

    The first part of the hike out this morning was pretty steep and challenging. I hadn't really noticed how steep it was on the way in yesterday afternoon.

    Unfortunately no pictures this time, as we were all carrying extra gear to test. But it was a scenic location that I will return to photograph once the fall colors reach this area.

    It was also a nice destination for a small group. Once we hit the trail, we had it all to ourselves.
    Hangin' round beats on the ground...
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    Bob

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Parker is a neat canyon, especially if you explore it further down to its intersection with Hubbard Creek. There really needs to be more rain to make the falls worth visiting there though. It's only a bit over a mile or mile and a quarter to the upper falls from the road unless you take a bushwhack route.

    We had the first night of a group hang and hike there a couple of years ago. That worked out pretty well.

    A good trip is to take two cars, and leave one at the unofficial Parker trailhead, and another at the unofficial Arnold Motorway trailhead. That lets you bushwhack the entire length of Quillen canyon, explore Riddle Canyon, and then walk up Hubbard Creek to the intersection of Hubbard creek and Parker creek, and then go up Parker Canyon and out to the first car. That's a really nice spring trip when the wildflowers are blooming.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Member Crocodile Sanders's Avatar
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    Wow, great idea for two cars! Yes I bet the falls are spectacular when there has been better rain. I don't see Riddle Canyon on my Quad map, but I have the GPS coordinates for the Arnold Motorway TH and see how that leads to Quillan Creek, Hubbard Creek and Parker Branch. Looks like rugged splendid hiking!
    Hangin' round beats on the ground...
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Bob

  4. #4
    For those not familiar with this area the following link displays a high resolution topo map centered where Parker Branch flows into Hubbard Creek:

    http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap...5&hillshade=18

    Anyone can use Gmap4 to generate similar links. Simply use zoom/pan or Menu==>Search to make the map look the way you want it to look. Then click Menu ==> “Link to this map”. The link that is displayed will produce the same map you see on your screen.

    This project is part of my way of 'paying it forward'. Translation: Gmap4 is free for non-commercial use.

    If you would like to learn more about Gmap4 you will find a FAQ, examples, quick start info (in the Help file) and more on the Gmap4 homepage:
    http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

    Joseph, the Gmap4 guy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Resqsarge03's Avatar
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    Thank you Jelf. That is a very useful link
    "Live your life so that your children can tell their children that you not only stood for something wonderful- you acted on it"
    -Dan Zadra

  6. #6
    Member Crocodile Sanders's Avatar
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    What a resource! Thanks!
    Hangin' round beats on the ground...
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Bob

  7. #7
    Member Crocodile Sanders's Avatar
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    I am really jazzed right now about having the Bankhead Forest so close by, and having the ability to hammock camp there. The thing I realize most is that driving through, you don't really know these splendid canyons are there, because for the most part you can't see them from the road. The best way to get to the scenery is simply to hike in.

    And oh by the way, its really largely because of this forum and what I've learned here that I am now decently equipped to hike and camp there with both comfort and a reasonable pack weight (which will only improve over time!). For that, many thanks!
    Hangin' round beats on the ground...
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Bob

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