Pictured above: Oakleaf Hydrangea along the Sitton’s Gulch Trail. Both Oakleaf and Wild Hydrangea are often in bloom along this trail at about 1,000-1,200 feet above sea level throughout June and sometimes in early July.
Cloudland Canyon State Park is filled with natural wonders, especially along the Overlook, Waterfalls, West Rim Loop and Sitton’s Gulch trails. The park is one of the southernmost places where you can enjoy walking among hemlock trees.
A good number of photos are shown on my article titled Soaring views and waterfalls set the stage at Cloudland Canyon State Park. But, I can never resist sharing more pictures than I should.
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Worth the drive and small parking fee on its own, the mostly flat Overlook Trail at Cloudland Canyon features the easy to get to views this state park is famous for.
Waterfalls TrailAbove: A family that hikes together finds themselves split into two groups near Hemlock Falls.
Multitudes enjoy making their way to Daniel Creek and the two spectacular waterfalls on this steep path. It wouldn’t be possible to enjoy getting such a close look at the fantastic mountain terrain found here if not for hundreds of steel steps.
Sitton’s Gulch Trail
Considering the big elevation gain, hiking on the Sitton’s Gulch Trail is somewhat easy thanks to the gradual nature of the climb. Of course, above about 1,300 above sea level, where the stairs are found and you’re actually on the Waterfalls Trail, it’s a different story.
The variety of trees and fauna would be worth the hike even if there wasn’t any cascade or waterfall scenes to enjoy.
West Rim Loop Trail
After I enjoyed the Overlook Trail, Waterfalls Trail and Sitton’s Gulch Trail for the first time, I assumed the West Rim Trail couldn’t possibly live up to the forest magic those provide.
I assumed incorrectly. This trail offers just as many visual rewards.
It starts with some special places above Cherokee Falls. Then, if you take the loop counterclockwise, it follows the canyon’s edge to the north from the west rim of Daniel Creek’s gorge to a point overlooking the valley around the city of Trenton. Then it turns sharply to the south and follows the west brow of the mountain until you get to a downhill slope that bring you back to where the loop began.
The trail passes within a few feet of the yurt village, and 11 of the park’s cottages have short connecting paths.
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