Reporting: Barry Griggs
Trip date: 10/19/14
What a beautiful day for a fall hike in the mountains of east Tennessee! We honestly could not have ordered a more perfect day. Our illustrious group of seven gathered at the trailhead to begin our nine-mile round-trip up to Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower. The restrooms in the relatively new building at the trailhead provide a convenient beginning in preparation for the lengthy hike.
Several other hikers and bikers were also taking advantage of the beautiful day to get out and enjoy God’s creation. The trails many switchbacks make the trail probably the most doable 4.5-mile hike up a mountain anywhere in these parts. It can be completed by even the most casual hiker with a few rest stops on the way if necessary. While leaves are on the trees, the trail is shaded the whole way. The 360-degree views from the top of the tower were spectacular with the reds and yellows really outstanding! Although overall peak color was probably just a few days away, there were many trees that were already in full color. The bright blue sky and clear air allowed maximum visibility for many, many miles.
The hike downhill back to the parking area went very quickly and our group headed for home with mental pictures of beautiful views and several new friends among fellow hikers and lovers of the outdoors. Hikers were Zhufang Liu, Junjia Liu, Lin Liu, Jackie Liu, Jinghua Yuan, Jim Floyd and Barry Griggs.