CNPA - Carolinas Nature Photographers Association - Home
Membership | Regions | Galleries | Calendar | Events | Magazine
Duggers Falls - Nina Ackley
Duggers Falls - Nina Ackley
Sunrise Pool - Bob Phipps
Sunrise Pool - Bob Phipps

CNPA 2012 Photography Weekend

Boone, North Carolina
May 17 - May 20, 2012

Registration opens March 1, 2012

Thursday Evening, May 17th
6pm-7pm - Registration
7pm-9pm - Orientation and meet your guides

Friday Saturday, May 18
All day - Guided and self-guided tours

Saturday, May 19
All day Guided and self-guided tours
7pm-9pm - Upload your favorite weekend image
for Sunday contest

Sunday, May 20
9am-11am - Photo Contest
Limited To 80 Participants
$60 Registration

La Quinta Inn (website)
165 Highway 105 Ext
Boone, North Carolina 28607

Reservations $99 - 828-262-1234
(please mention CNPA when making your reservation)
Canada Geese and Goslings - Jim Ruff
Canada Geese and Goslings - Jim Ruff

Field Trip Information

Friday, 05/18/12
05:10 AM-
11:00 AM
Fri01 - Thunder Hill Overlook, Rough Ridge Overlook BRP - Sunrise & Scenic
Limit: 15
Driving time from Boone: From corner of US 421 & 105, then left US 321 to Blowing Rock BRP interchange, it is 8 miles to Thunder Hill, or about 15 minutes.

Thunder Hill Overlook is at 3,795 ft. elevation located at mile marker MP 290.3 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It overlooks the Johns River / Yadkin River Valleys to the east. Dress warm for wind chills. Possibility of fog exists at any time. Gap downhill and 30 yards north of the overlook makes for interesting photos of fog movement over the gap. Check website for view of the overlook.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHXNsIxTDZ0

We will then travel to the Rough Ridge Overlook at MP 302.8 for a hike up to a boardwalk with views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mt., Beacon Heights, Grandmother Mountain, Table Rock, Hawks Bill and John's River Valley. The boardwalk covers a rocky bald which is covered with lichens, blueberry shrubs, and various Boreal wildflowers. This is an environmentally sensitive area and protected from hikers by the boardwalk. This area is a small sample of the Boreal / Tundra areas of Canada.

05:00 AM-
05:00 PM
Fri02 - Roan Mountain Balds & Elk River Falls
Limit: 15
Driving time from Boone: About 45 minutes from Boone to Newland to Banner Elk to Elk Park to Roan Mt., TN to Carver's Gap on NC/TN border

Facilities: Restrooms in the gardens/outhouse at Carver's Gap. No facilities on trail. Hiking Info: 2 miles round trip via Appalachian Trail to Round Bald; 3 miles round trip to Jane Bald, Moderate to strenuous in places. Lunch: Bring snacks, lunch and water to eat along the trail.

Equipment: Wide angle lens, telephoto lens up to 250mm (or more), macro lens, polarizing filter, graduated neutral density filter and tripod for sunrise photos, good hiking boots, layered warm clothes including gloves, rain gear, sunscreen.

Elevation: 5,512 to around 6,000 feet

The hike to the Round Bald will also go through an alpine spruce / fir forest. The panoramic vistas along this part of the Appalachian Trail are awesome. We could have beautiful blue skies with fluffy white clouds or we could be fogged in - perhaps both on the same day! No matter what the conditions are, you will be rewarded with memorable landscapes. This will be a slow hike so you may catch your breath and capture any images you want along the way.

The Elk River Falls drops 40 feet into a large pool. A steep trail goes down the right side of the falls on the right [as you look at the falls]. It is best to wear boots for this trail. You will be rewarded with a large rock area facing the pool to sit on as you photograph the falls. The river flowing at the top of the falls is good for afternoon reflections.

05:00 AM-
10:00 AM
Fri03 - Beacon Heights and Boone Fork - Sunrise to 10:00 AM
Limit: 10
Driving Time From Boone: Intersection of US 321/NC 105 (Wendy's Restaurant) in Boone to Beacon Heights is about 22 miles (38 minutes) via NC 105 to Linville and then US 221 to the Parkway.

Drive to the Beacon Heights Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway for sunrise and scenic photos then to Boone Fork Overlook for mountain stream photos.

Sunrise view from the top of a large garnet escarpment overlooking the Johns River Valley and Line Cove Viaduct is spectacular. Valley fog may be present any morning or not at all. Views north east to south west for the valley offer vast panoramic to close intimates. Views West and North West offer Grandfather Mountain and the Lin Viaduct.

Boone Fork is a short walk to a bridge across the stream. Upstream view of Rhododendron and Beech trees tightly covering the stream cascade provide for wide angle to short telephoto shots. Shots from below the bridge are available. Photos of the trail and bridge are another idea. Trail can access northern end of Grandfather Mountain.

07:30 AM-
05:00 PM
Fri04 - Grandfather Mountain - All Day
Limit: 25
Cost: Free, but there is an entrance fee for the park. See event page for details.
Approximate Driving Time: Intersection of US 321/NC 105 (Wendy's Restaurant) in Boone to Beacon Heights is about 22 miles (38 minutes) via NC 105 to Linville and then US 221 to the Grandfather entrance.

Grandfather Mountain has scenic overlooks from many different directions. Trails lead through the area and range from easy to difficult. Swinging Bridge over an 80' crevasse for the adventure some leads to a rocky overlook. Wildlife Natural Habitat area includes Bear, Otter, Deer, and Mountain Lion photo opps. Wildflowers will be in bloom at different elevations. The Nature/Visitor center offers restrooms, gift shop, historical film, geological development of the mountain, and extensive mineral/gem display. Outside deck has bird feeders for other animal viewing. Trails should have mosses, ferns, wildflowers, and various mushrooms.

Note: there is an entrance fee at Grandfather Mountain -
Adult 13-59 $15
Senior 60+ $13
Child 4-12 $7
Children under 4 Free


05:10 AM-
12:00 PM
Fri05 - Moses Cone Mansion and Bass Lake - Sunrise to Noon
Limit: 20
Approximate Driving Time: From corner of US 421 & 105, then left US 321 to Blowing Rock BRP interchange, it is 10 miles to Moses Cone, or about 20 minutes.

The summer home of Moses Cone, Greensboro denim magnet, has an expansive eastward view which includes Bass Lake. Bass Lake is the headwater for the southern branch of the New River which eventually empties into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, WV. One can get nice first light shots of the Manor and the Carriage Barn and the rose garden and tenant house and the Ginkgo, as well as some nice curvy lines made by the fence and the line of maples. The maples make lovely shadows on the carriage barn. A walked under the Parkway and walk a very short distance up the trail, there would be first light shots of Grandfather/Hanging Rock/Beech.

Walking down to Bass Lake we'd see some early wildflowers and maybe some rhodo buds/blooms. Walk down the left side [standing on the Manor house looking at the lake, we could sidetrack a very short distance to the Apple Barn. There's a chestnut tree by the Apple Barn. Going through a deciduous, then a white pine forest, have some side shots of the remnants of the apple orchard, maybe some fungi. The walk down the right side isn't as interesting, to my way of thinking; mainly a tunnel of trees. At the lake there are, of course, lake shots, water lilies, and shots back up at the Manor.

07:30 AM-
12:00 PM
Fri06 - Linville Falls & Dugger's Creek Falls
Limit: 15
Approximate Driving Time: 29 mi 49 min. via NC 105/US221 south to intersection, follow 105 to Linville, right on US 221 to light, then left on NC 181/US 221 South to NC 181 South intersection, left on NC 181 to BRP Access across from Christa's Country Corner, left to BRP, then right [South] on the BRP to Linville Falls Rd. [access road from BRP]

Linville Falls has four separate trails to overlooks, one left and three right, from the visitor center/parking area. Left route takes you to a cliff view of the front of the main falls. Three overlooks to the right are off one trail. One overlook leads to the upper section for the falls, while the next two overlooks view the falls from cliffs at higher elevations.

Dugger's Creek Falls is at the parking area entrance. Short trail leads to a bridge crossing the creek and moss covered walls over a small gorge. Very ethereal.


Saturday, 05/19/12
05:10 AM-
11:00 AM
Sat01 - Thunder Hill Overlook, Rough Ridge Overlook BRP - Sunrise & Scenic
Limit: 15
Repeat Fri01 trip (above)...

05:00 AM-
05:00 PM
Sat02 - Roan Mountain Balds & Elk River Falls
Limit: 15
Repeat Fri02 trip (above)...

05:00 AM-
10:00 AM
Sat03 - Beacon Heights and Boone Fork - Sunrise to 10:00 AM
Limit: 10
Repeat Fri03 trip (above)...

07:30 AM-
05:00 PM
Sat04 - Grandfather Mountain - All Day
Limit: 25
Cost: Free, but there is an entrance fee for the park. See event page for details.
Repeat Fri04 trip (above)...

05:10 AM-
12:00 PM
Sat05 - Moses Cone Mansion and Bass Lake - Sunrise to Noon
Limit: 20
Repeat Fri05 trip (above)...

07:30 AM-
12:00 PM
Sat06 - Linville Falls & Dugger's Creek Falls
Limit: 15
Repeat Fri06 trip (above)...


Independent Outings
 
Oyo01 - Valle Crucis & Mast General Store
Leader: ON YOUR OWN
Approximate Driving Time: 9.8 mi 20 min via NC 105 from motel west to Broadstone Rd. and Mast General Store.

Appalachian Mountain valley community established in 1842 has wide fields with weathered barns [one at the back of the Mast General Store], small creeks feeding into the Watauga River, historic original Mast General Store, new Valle Crucis Walking Park [for picnics & birding], mountain churches including St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.

 
Oyo02 - Quilt Barn Trails of Ashe, Watauga, and Avery Counties
Leader: ON YOUR OWN
Approximate Driving Time: Each county is different. Plan all day for all three counties, or 1/2 day for any one county. More barns in Avery and Ashe.

Quilt blocks painted on 2' X 2', 4'X4', 8'X8' wood squares then mounted to the sides of barns, visible from the highway, represent some of the most unique attractions of the farm valleys in the highlands. The County Arts Councils have sponsored and assisted in establishing this expression of art and pride in mountain heritage. Each county has its own quilt barn trail and websites with map, photos, and explanations of the project. Travel the trails at you leisure to obtain photos of over 60 barns.

 
Oyo03 - Waterfalls on US 221 - Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain
Leader: ON YOUR OWN
Approximate Driving Time: 15.4 mi. 26 min, via NC 105 to US 321, left on US 321 South to Blowing Rock, right on US 221 through Blowing Rock toward Grandfather Mt.

As US 221 travels west from Blowing Rock along the east escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it becomes a narrow winding road. The inside of several turns have small cascading waterfalls which flow under US 221. Each one is different, and offers intimate view of major stream headwaters. Wilson Creek, Green Mountain Creek, Boone Fork Creek, and Dixon Creek are several of the streams which flow off the east face of Grandfather Mt. and under US 221. Also a huge bolder is cut under to allow the road to pass. It makes for an interesting shot.

 
Oyo04 - Sims Pond-Trail, Julian Price Picnic Area Trail, Julian Price Lake
Leader: ON YOUR OWN
Approximate Driving Time: 11.4 mi. 26 min. via NC 105 S to US 321, left on US 321 to BRP access ramp at Blowing Rock then right on ramp, left [South] on BRP to Sims Pond. Follow BRP South for other two sites within 2 miles.

This area of the Blue Ridge Parkway offers quarter mile to 5 mile trails which follow Sims Creek, Boone Fork Creek, and Julian Price Lake. The streams are shallow cut into the earth, undercutting many trees for exposed roots. They meander over rock, woods, and open fields. One trail follows the shoreline of Julian Price Lake. May wildflower and possible early flower trees / shrubs should offer photo opps. Along with the views of the lake and Grandfather Mountain, wetland areas back from the shoreline offer a different habitat and plant life.

 
Oyo05 - BRP North - Cascade Falls, Stone Mountain, Brinegar Cabin
Leader: ON YOUR OWN
Approximate Driving Time: 42 mi one way 1 hr 11 min via US 421 South to Deep Gap access BRP access ramp, right up ramp, then left [North] to Doughton Park.

Heading north on the Blue Ridge Parkway from US 421 East, you can travel a leisurely 30 miles and find wonderful east facing overlooks of the Yadkin River Valley. Along the way you will find Cascade Falls, Stone Mountain Overlook, Doughton Park, and Brinegar Cabin. Brinegar Cabin is a mountain farm restoration with several buildings, home, and garden. Doughton Park has a lodge, campground, open field with split rail fence, and trails which overlook the BRP behind the lodge. The Stone Mountain Overlook views Stone Mountain State Park from 3000' for a totally different view of the granite dome. Cascade Falls Overlook trail leads to an upper and lower overlook of the falls. Open field areas along this section of the Parkway prepare you for the transition of mountain farm country to mountain peaks and deep forests of the western Parkway.


If you have specific questions about the field trips, please contact Bob at rphipps@bellsouth.net.

Disclaimer: All field trips are subject to change depending on weather and other conditions during this event.