Mornings on Max are nothing short of a miracle. This morning we shuttled some of our guests up for a hike down to the cabins. This is a wonderful 9-mile hike down from 4629 feet to about 2900 feet of elevation at the cabins.
Tom and I took the opportunity to walk over the “roof of our world” here in Spring Creek. Max Patch is the highest point in our area and it never disappoints us.
On this fine morning. we were witness to a brand new baby elk being born. When I captured her on camera, the distance and glare made it difficult to notice the baby. I was very curious as to why she was alone, grazing in an open field. The bulls are often alone, but most of the time the females are in herds.
For several years now, the National Park Service has been working to re-establish the elk in the Appalachian region. This beautiful doe probably wandered over from the Cataloochee area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Or, perhaps she split off from the two herds that are pretty well established in the Harmon Den area just below Max Patch on the drive over to I-40.
Here are some things to think about when hiking in our woods.
Take a map along. We have provided maps for you to carry with you that will help you find your way in our forest and connect to the Appalachian Trail.
We take a Garmen GPS unit with us, but we ALWAYS compare it to our maps. GPS can get you lost around here and it rarely gives you a good idea about how long a trail might be.
The blazes for the AT are white. When you see 2 blazes, that means to pay attention as there is another trail crossing the AT.
In the summer, the understory gets thick with stinging nettles, poison ivy and blackberry vines. Come prepared for this, or plan to hike on trails that are heavily traveled.
We do have snakes here. Most are not poisonous. Rattle snakes make a pretty loud sound. Copperheads are shy and prefer not to be bothered. These are the only two kinds of snakes that are poisonous here. It is best just to leave them alone. If you should experience a snake bite, just stay calm and get to help. Slow breathing and keeping your heart rate low is the best treatment.
Yellow jackets can be ferocious if disturbed. Please be aware that they live in holes in the ground. It is best not to poke holes in the ground. If they come after you….RUN!!!! Run away from their nest and try to get them off of you. They can sting more than once. Jewel weed takes the sting away.
It is good to carry 50 mg of Benadryl and 150 mg of Zantac with you just in case you experience and allergic reaction.
Here is a link to little video on helpful and harmful plants you may encounter along the way.