It was quite the adventure at Abrams Creek this weekend.
Friday, the wife and I knew we wanted to go hiking and to explore but we were unsure where to go. After some research, we decided on the Abrams Creek area as it looked to be a beautiful area relatively close by with multiple trailhead options within a short walk from each other.
The temperature on Saturday was supposed to be pretty chilly. With a high of around 46 degree, we decided to postpone hiking until it was near the warmest part of the day. We created a tentative plan to leave our house between 12 and 1PM. With that big time gap and no plans in the morning, it was a great opportunity to grab some running miles, as I do have the Derby Festival Marathon in Louisville, KY coming up within the next 3 weeks! This will be my fourth Derby Festival Marathon!
I left the house all bundled up, as it was pretty chilly and windy, and started with a few miles on the trails near our house. After a few miles, I hopped on the road to try to get some miles in that were a little bit faster. Where we live, it’s pretty hilly, so average pace looks much slower than it really is. There was a nice semi-flat/downhill section that I pushed hard on. I was already about 11 miles in at that point, so hitting that 12th mile at 6:05 pace was a great. I did 2 miles after that which were a little bit slower at around 6:30 pace. That felt pretty good, too, since my legs were toast from the hills.
Once back from the run, we ate some lunch and then loaded up the car to head to Abrams Creek, just south of Maryville, TN. We initially arrived and were expecting to go on the Rabbit Creek Trail, but the river, or creek, was way too filled with water and we didn’t want to walk another 4 miles after the creek crossing with cold, soggy socks, shoes and pants. So we opted for a different route along the same trail that appeared to not have significant water crossings. That made for a happy wife.
As we continued along the trail, we walked through the Abrams Creek campgrounds which was situated along the river. It looked like a great campground. It opens on May 27, 2016 for those interested in camping there. Moseying along the trail some more, there were some pretty nice climbs along the service road to get to the main trailhead. Once we turned onto the trailhead, it went way, way up vertically with beautiful switchbacks. We rested once we got to the top of that ascent, then it appeared to go up just a bit more, but this time it was not as significant of a grade.
At the top of that little rise, we could hear the river flowing. It sounded like a waterfall, although it was just the rapids of the river. Still, such a peaceful sound. It’s amazing what being in nature can do and how it can calm your senses and make you feel wonderful things. We started to descend towards the wonderful noises of the river.
After a few minutes, we could see it. It was gorgeous. The water was incredible and I really wanted to jump in. It would have been really chilly. Next time, I’ll make the jump in. Next time. We continued along, awestruck at the beauty and power of the river. It was really neat to see the water change, as it would go from smooth, flowing water to rapids every so often.
After about 45 minutes to an hour, we reached what appeared to be a campsite, but we think it was one of the backcountry backpacker campgrounds. We think that had we kept going, we would have reached one of the official campsites that cars could get to. We ate some snacks and sat by the river for a while, and then turned around to head back to the car.
By the time we reached the car, we had hiked nearly 7 miles. It was an awesome time, and we’ll definitely be going back to the Abrams Creek area to hike and explore more. Maybe we’ll even venture through the big river along the Rabbit Creek Trail. I definitely recommend getting out and hiking there.
Things we took on our hike:
- Lake & Trail H20 Hydration pack
- The North Face Torrent 4 Hydration Pack
- Garmin 310XT
- DIY Trail Mix