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Aside from the Cradle of Country Music. Tennessee has a lot of everything in terms of wonderful natural attractions. Some of these you may already have explored. I still run it by you anyhow.

Come on, let that fire of curiosity in you be ignited. Explore the state’s most impressive natural wonders. Waterfalls, rugged mountain peaks, roaring rivers, rich flora and fauna. All of that and more are what make up Tennessee.

Let us keep seeking out the hidden gems. Find inspiration. Uncover the history in an increasingly complex world of ours.  Life was meant to be enjoyed after the rushing and hurrying. When you have to sit in any rush-hour traffic. When we often get caught up in the busyness of life. Moments of shoving your feet into your untied shoes and arriving a few minutes late in a place to be. When we fall on that obsessive pursuit of having more. Yes some things fall through the crap. It’s okay. That’s how we learn. But sometimes it causes us to lose our harmony and self-satisfaction. One journalist said, the only way to change the world is to change the story.

I am turning 3 years now in the US. It’s been awesome. Out and about, I remember well the first feelings that I had. I knew the beauty of this countryside would take on a deeper color and harmony in me. I was completely entranced in the ecstasy of the surroundings here. I carry them with me like the breeze carries the scent of blue oceans from my hometown Philippines.

A lot of times, I kept my genuine self hidden from sight. Enjoying the fullness of life here. As I am one of those people who love the private. As well as preserving the memories of it. But sometimes I lose track of the days. By not looking at the details of the pics  I knew it was just last month. Back in February. We went to this place. I couldn’t remember what day it was. On weekdays or weekends? But I’m pretty sure the outfit is telling me it was still winter. Anyway. Truth be told, important thing is – writing allowed me to enjoy moments of reflection.

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒌

The park is home to an abundance of activities for guests to enjoy. The main hiking trail follows the wall of Old Stone Fort. The trail threads through dramatic scenery where you can see the original entrance of the fort. Designed to face the exact spot on the horizon where the sun rises on summer days. Visitors can learn about the Old Stone Fort on this hike with the panels posted as well as enjoying the area’s graceful waterfalls.

Setting out with the dog in tow and in our arms. We walked and hiked. While documenting some details along the way. From roadside view to those set deep in the forest. Mind setting at the same time – a world of discovery lies ahead.

The exact kind of people that I need to see more of. Beautiful souls they are. Friendships built from shared experiences.

As we pass and stand underneath the branches of streamline trees. As we stare straight ahead. It offers three wonderful waterfalls. Step Falls, Blue Hole Falls, and Big Falls can be viewed from the trail. Get three times the pleasure from one trail. Each has its own unique characteristics. Enjoying the up-close-and-personal relationship with nature. 

No words to describe while receiving a soothing rhythmic background. Lively and strong. Listening intently to all the sounds. The sound of nature breathing.

Blue Hole Falls is aptly named for the stunningly blue pool it rushes into. It’s a small waterfall, one that is set apart by the gorgeous coloring of its surroundings.

Mother Nature allowed me again to see her mysterious creation. To be able to gaze upon these wondrous and amazing things from her hand. It is a mesmerizing hideout for me. It just warms me up inside. 

𝑹𝒖𝒊𝒏𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑶𝒍𝒅 𝑺𝒕𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝑾𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒔

The historic centerpiece of the park is the Old Stone Fort. This ancient Native American earthwork enclosure affords the view over the coming together of the Duck and Little Duck Rivers. The origins of the earthworks presented a puzzle. Leading to speculation that the site was constructed by Spanish explorers, Romans among others. 

Records say human occupation of the park is very evident dating back to 6000 BCE. It was home to some Native Americans. Over the years, they saw the construction of ancient Native American earth construction, historic engagements, and Civil War movements.

Caught myself daydreaming. I want this place to feel like a secret garden. With all the ruins kept intact. Every material I’ll choose influences a sense of history in it. Looking at it as a wild, romantic escape haven. A garden that’s full of hopes. So there I am. Crazy huh. Sometimes when I’m outside, one side is physically present and the other side is daydreaming. Dreaming freely in my own mind.

It was recorded that it was named as a Fort by mistake. Yep, you won’t be visiting a military fort here. Instead it’s a Native American site with beautiful scenery and several waterfalls. The Old Stone Fort was built 1,500-2,000 years ago. Native Americans used this area continuously for about 500 years. Abandoned. By the time European settlers arrived, it was unclear what the area had been used for. Which caused it to be misnamed as a fort. 

Early interpretations of the site often focused on the possibility that the raised walls, a steep-walled stage of limestone, presented the remains of defensive force. No archaeological evidence found recognizing these. The lookout on top of the elevated land offers a grand view of the surrounding landscape. Which is why American Indians chose to build an earth-and-stone walled enclosure on it. The original settlers knew a special setting when they found it. They made this a sacred place for ceremonies thousands of years ago.

 Until then it was understood that the site used to be a ceremonial site, an ancient Native American ritual enclosure. 

And this is majestic. Uplifting. Showing itself like a wonderful unexpected gift. This seems almost a make believe. It keeps my attention.

It’s no secret that you need water to have a waterfall. Again I ask, but where does that water come from? Google says, waterfalls are created when the riverbed changes suddenly from hard rock to soft rock. Yes, still it is magical.

Great place to spend a day exploring and enjoying the water. For in the water is where I pour out my hearts, hopes and dreams. It is my beating heart here. From my heart pouring out my river of dreams and possibilities. This place is one of the hopes that I have honored. Not to forget, I am a Pisces girl.

It is a lovely park and a great place for a solid visit or for a day trip. The main attraction is the water, the rushing waters on each side with beautiful cascades and rock elevations transform over time.

These provide waterfalls, water pools, shallow, fast moving, slow moving, shaded, and in the sunshine. Great for all ages. Pretty easy access once you get from the trail ledges.

The experience was both fascinating and informative. Walking over a site where an established society had settled, A community built over 2,000 years ago with several rewarding cascades and waterfalls is very fascinating. The State of Tennessee does a very good job in building state park museums and exhibits here.

The original settlers knew a special setting when they found it. Ancient Native Americans made this a sacred place for ceremonies thousands of years ago. It still offers fantastic scenery and waterfall after waterfall during the short hike. Easy walking trail and a few more rustic trails along the river. Really a beautiful quick hike.

𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈

Parking is available near the museum/visitor center. The park features several hiking trails that circle around the interior and exterior of the stone walls, as well as trails that follow the course of the Big and Little Duck Rivers.

𝑴𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒖𝒎

There is also a small museum onsite. A nice visitor center provides changing, air conditioning breaks, restrooms, and information at the entrance. A small museum has a gift shop and restroom. Restrooms were clean. We would recommend you going early, we went on weekends. We arrived by almost 11 am. When we came back at noon, everybody’s struggling to find parking. 

The Duck River has been recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the five most bio diverse rivers in the entire world.

𝑯𝒊𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈

Most of the hiking  trail is very shaded if you want to stay cool which circles the park core land. There are benches along the trails as well. The trails were wide and tidy. Along the way you will pass some cascades before coming to the first waterfall along the trail. It offers fantastic scenery and waterfall after waterfall during the short hike. Easy walking trail and a few more rustic trails along the river. Really a beautiful quick hike.

Climbing back up to the main trail  and continuing the hike. As we make your way down the trail, we encountered century-old hemlock trees. Gorgeous rock formations. Took a lot of breaks in the trees for scenic views. It’s truly majestic.

𝑾𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒂𝒓

One hiker said – It’s a must. Whatever direction we go. It’s kick *ss.

The hike is short and moderate. It was a great leg stretcher. Still wear the right footwear. It’s easy to twist an ankle or stub a toe while hiking. But the payoff is a straight true beauty.  All worth the effort. Head on out to get a good look of Blue Hole Falls for yourself. 

As we keep our eyes peeled. Spotted treasures liked this. A mini mushroom forest grows on a dead tree stump. 

Admiring it then leaving for others to enjoy and appreciate. Always be reminded of the philosophy “Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints, bring nothing but memories.”

Such a lovely, uncrowded spot for lunch and snacks– excellent break when headed to Nashville. It charges no entrance fee.

A culture has to be observed. Not so early on, I learned and realized that we have reached the time in our life on the planet and as humanity is demanding upon it. All of us have to be a river keeper. A steward of marine life. A watchman on the open ocean.

Had so much fun. See more @ https://youtu.be/T2vj0CNArdQ

Thanks for reading.

Ritztakeoffs.com

I am forever be humbled and grateful for my experiences in life, the best and even the worst, it's teaching me even more. I believe that i have the obligation to stay healthy and let the universe take care of it.

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