Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cucumber Gap Loop ~ Spring Wildflowers

Yesterday Jeff and I took another wonderful wildflower walk.

This loop is very close to where we are camped~Elkmont Campground.

 Cucumber Gap Loop

The Great Smoky Mountain National park

The trail starts at The Little River Trailhead

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At the beginning of the trail you'll pass by a few of the old resort cottages of Elkmont. The cottages were built in the 1920s, and were used as summer homes by the affluent from Knoxville. As of this writing the homes are in disrepair and are off limits to the public. However, in the fall of 2008, National Park crews completed emergency stabilization to 18 of the historic cabins, as well as the Appalachian Clubhouse. The park plans to fully restore all 19 structures so that they can be opened and viewed by the public. As part of the first phase of the Elkmont restoration project, the Park Service reopened the old Appalachian Clubhouse for public day use rental in June of 2011.

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It must have been a wonderful retreat area

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Some of the homes are being maintained while others are left to nature to break down..

cucumber gap loop (17)The trail parallels the Little River and is easy with a gradual climb.

A lovely hike for families…

cucumber gap loop (22)We saw many Fraser's Sedge on this hike, compared to yesterdays hike at Porter Creek.

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White Erect Trillium Trillium erectum albiflorum

cucumber gap loop (23)Yellow Trillium

just about to bloom

cucumber gap loop (25)Little River..

Jeff was eyeing the water and thinking fish :)

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Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides

cucumber gap loop (29)Yellow Trillum all over the woodlands

Awesome!

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Fly fisherman

cucumber gap loop (38)at about 2.5 miles we reached the

Cucumber Gap trail

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The path is narrower here and the hike a bit more difficult a 400 foot steady climb within the next mile. Watch out for the  many roots in the path.

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Yellow Trout Lily Erythronium americanum

I wonder why some of the Trout Lily have brown spotting and others do not.

Different variety?

cucumber gap loop (52)One of the stream crossings..

We took a shorter crossing over some logs just a bit downstream of this crossing.

cucumber gap loop (54)Wildflower mix..

cucumber gap loop (56)What have we here?

This flower has me stumped so far..

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I think these are all Hepatica of some sort

cucumber gap loop (59)Below the flower with the leaves..

cucumber gap loop (60)just the flower..

cucumber gap loop (62)just the leaves..

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More Hepatica?

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When I first saw this I thought it was Dutchman's Britches..Sicksta Lori sent me this great website for Tennessee Wildflowers..

Squirrel Corn Dicentra canadensis / Bleeding Heart

cucumber gap loop (70)More Yellow Trout Lily

Trout Lily was everywhere on this hike.

cucumber gap loop (72)Rue Anemone

cucumber gap loop (74)Wood vine sculpture..

cucumber gap loop (76)Unknown small snake

cucumber gap loop (78)Star Chickweed

cucumber gap loop (80)The views from this trail are all wooded views.

I would imagine in the summer there would not be much of a view with the leaves on the trees.

cucumber gap loop (82)Emerging fern..

cucumber gap loop (87)Walking amongst the wildflower fairyland..

Yellow Trout Lily up and down the hillside.

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Carolina Spring Beauty Claytonia caroliniana

cucumber gap loop (91)More

Frasier's Sedge

I like the fuzzy flower heads..

cucumber gap loop (92)The trail has a few smallish creek crossings..

cucumber gap loop (96)Waldo came out of hiding to hike with us..

cucumber gap loop (102)More

Yellow Trillium..

This hike featured this Trillum, Trout Lily and Large-flower Trillium, the large flower Trillum was just about to bloom here, unlike yesterdays trip where they were in full bloom.

cucumber gap loop (105)At around 4.8 miles, you'll reach the Jakes Creek Trail junction

You would take a right to continue back to the car..

Jeff and I took a .7 mile trip to the left up Jays Creek to see an old cabin.

I was tired and didn’t want to hike up to the Cabin..

Jeff took these photos.

cucumber gap loop (112)This was an artists cabin in the early 1900s

cucumber gap loop (106)We continued our trip backtracking on Jakes trail to the parking area.

We passed through the old town of Elkmont..

cucumber gap loop (115)The first of the homes were spaced..

cucumber gap loop (116)With land between..

cucumber gap loop (118)As we walked on the homes were closer together..

cucumber gap loop (119)Then onto the main street..where they are very close together.

cucumber gap loop (128)I loved this little log home.

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Another lovely hike in Wildflower Paradise!
    
    Trail Location:         Elkmont    
    Roundtrip Length:         5.6 Miles    
    Total Elevation Gain:         830 Feet    
    Avg. Elev Gain / Mile:         296 Feet    
    Highest Elevation:         3055 Feet    
    Trail Difficulty Rating:         7.26 (moderate)    
    Parking Lot Latitude         35.65365    
    Parking Lot Longitude         -83.58018

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