Sunday, April 17, 2016

Whiteoak Sinks "The Secret Trail"

It was 78' and sunny at the Whiteoaks Sinks in the Smoky Mountains.  A trail that is kind of a secret, since it doesn't actually exist on any GSMNP map.  I was very surprised that the Whiteoaks Sinks that is so hidden, was so busy. 
 About two years ago, Stone and I stumbled upon it by accident.  Then a 85 year old man lead us out, seeing that it was getting dark, to dark to follow the trail back the way we came.  The elderly man was there with his wife, son and family.  Turns out the son was a physician who also lives in Knoxville.   They kindly drove us to our car about three miles away.  Since then we have wondered how to get to that parking lot that would lead you to the sinks, making it about a four mile hike, verses an eight mile hike as we did previously. 

 We began our hike on the Schoolhouse Gap Trail.

Whiteoak Sinks
 Beaked Violet



 Yellow Trillium

Whiteoak Sinks
 Dog Hobble



Whiteoak Sinks
 Wild Geranium 

Whiteoak Sinks
 Squawroot

Whiteoak Sinks
 White Trillium


GSMNP
 A blanket of Blue Phlox greeted us as we entered the Basin floor at Whiteoak Sinks.

Whiteoak Sinks
Blue  Phlox

GSMNP

GSMNP

GSMNP


GSMNP

GSMNP

GSMNP

 My Lunch

Whiteoak Sinks
 Yellow Trillium

GSMNP
 Shooting Star

Whiteoak Sinks
 Crested Dwarf Iris

GSMNP

GSMNP

GSMNP

GSMNP

GSMNP

 We took a break and rested the camera on a tree that had fallen across the trail for this photo op.  That old fallen down tree came in handy.



Whiteoak Sinks
Yellow Lady Slipper