Late Winter Hike and the Upcoming “Three Ring Circus”

We’ve had a little rain, and it still feels like spring. I haven’t seen anything native in bloom, but some of the pear trees are coming, and there is some forsythia in my neighbor’s yard.

Last weekend was beautiful, but very cold on Saturday because of the wind. We’ve been meaning to get back out to Three Forks to hike up to Long Falls, and we finally did that on Sunday. I’ll probably write this up for my email newsletter, but until then, I can say that it is probably the most beautiful waterfall I’ve seen in Fannin County. It is especially nice because you can both stand below at the base of the falls and also climb up to the top of the falls and actually cross Long Creek on a little bridge built for the hikers. The creek isn’t very wide up there at the top, but it is pretty deep and it runs fast. It is a little under a mile up to the falls, and the trail – the combined Benton McKaye and Appalachian Trail – is an easy walk. Long Creek comes together with Stover and Chester creeks at Three Forks to form the Noontootla Creek. It is a beautiful area, and easy to reach. Just go to the end of Aska Road, turn right on Newport, go to the end and turn left on Doublehead Gap, then follow Doublehead Gap Road until you see the turnoff to Forest Service 58 (just past the church), and follow 58 until the trail crosses the road.

It is going to be a very interesting primary season in Fannin County, as the County Chairman, Sheriff, Tax Commissioner, and Probate Judge are up for election. Many have announced for Tax Commissioner, and the battle for Sheriff promises to be an interesting one. The incumbent, Dane Kirby, is facing a challenge from the Blue Ridge Police Chief, Johnny Scearce, and many observers give him an excellent chance of unseating Dane. It’s shaping up to be a “three ring circus” for political junkies, and, since we have one in the family, I’m looking forward to the ride.

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