Adventures in Hiking: Charit Creek

Once again I have been lacking in the blogging department. Part of the reason for that is I have spent quite bit of time outside hiking the last few months. One of my goals for the year was to hike twice a month and I am meeting that goal!

Twin Arches

Back in June a friend of mine and I booked an overnight stay at Charit Creek Lodge near Pickett State Park in Tennessee. There are no motorized ways to get to the lodge so you have to hike or ride a horse. You might also be able to ride a non motorized bike as well but I am not sure. We got to the trailhead bright and early in the morning hoping to beat the heat and possible rain. The hike to the lodge is about a mile and a half so it didn’t take us a super long time to get there.

The camp hosts allowed us to drop off some of our stuff so our packs weren’t quite as heavy and we headed back out on the trail. We did the Twin Arches Loop which is about five miles. We made it back to the lodge after check in time but with plenty of time to shower and take in the absolute lack of technological sounds before being summoned to dinner with the dinner bell.

The lodge and some sights along the way

Dinner is served family style with all of the guests. We met a mom and her two boys, a father in law with his two son in laws, and a couple with their little girl. Everyone was super friendly and the food was really good. The camp has propane but no electricity. I did bring a portable phone charger so I could still use my phone to take pictures. After dinner the family started a fire and made smore’s and we all chatted until a huge storm blew in and chased us all inside. For as hot as it was outside the cabin was very comfortable.

This lodge is in the backwoods. When you enter the trail to the lodge there is a sign that says you are entering bear and venomous snake territory so be aware of your surroundings. Once our lights were out and my friend and I were on the verge of sleep a huge thump made us leap out of our beds. We finally realized that the barn cats must be jumping in and out of the lofts above us. But, those initial moments in half sleep made us think a bear was certainly going to get in!

In the morning we were once again summoned to the dining room for breakfast with everyone. We had appointments to get to so after breakfast, and purchasing t-shirts, stickers, and cookbooks from the gift shop, we hit the trail for home.

Critters

The hike out takes a bit longer than the hike in because you are headed up the whole time. Also, I am a pretty slow hiker and tend to take plenty of breaks to take photos and enjoy the surroundings. At one point my hiking buddy and I got separated (not far, just around a corner). I heard what I thought was my name and yelled back “I’m here”. I rounded the corner and she said “BEAR!” Thankfully the bear was up the hill and busy so it didn’t bother with us. It was very exciting but also a little nerve wracking and we hiked a whole lot faster to get to the top of the trail and back to the car.

Way back in college I did a Walkabout, 10 day backpacking trip, with the other student leaders. I lived in Yosemite and hiked a ton but this was my first time doing a hike in to a lodge. 10/10 would recommend and would do again! We saw quite a few critters but I am glad we didn’t add any venomous snakes to the list. Check out Charit Creek and let me know if you are going to hike in and stay there!

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