31 March 2014

Where (or what) in the world is Henwallow?

To be truthful, about the only compelling thing about this trail is the story of how the area came to be called Hen Wallow. But we must start at the beginning:

I was planning a hike with my buddy Harold, but I did not want to do big miles as I had a marathon planned for the weekend. We had tossed around various options, but Mother Nature threw a curveball at us by sending (hopefully) one last snowfall on the day of. So we punted & decided to take on Gabes Mtn trail. (BTW, don't you love how I mix my sports metaphors? Just seeing if anyone is paying attention). Since Hen Wallow Falls is noteworthy enough to be named on the GSMNP $1 map, I assumed it must be rather impressive.

Since our hike was now a Wednesday event, Brian was able to go along as well. So we set out from Cosby campground (after tagging the various entrances to the trail) with great expectations. At least I did, as it turns out Harold & Brian had already seen it before. Harold maintained he was not much impressed, but I figured it had been so long since he had been there that maybe he didn't remember it right.

He did.

 To be fair, it was not a bad waterfall, just more of a trickle over a rock. The ice was rather cool.

So here's the story of Henwallow, which I got from the Kenneth Wise "blue book": It seems that one spring a family in an unnamed community in this area decided to purchase 100 chicks from a hatchery with the intent of raising them to lay eggs to sell. Once the chicks grew old enough to determine their gender, it turns out they had 95 roosters and only 5 hens! Folks in another unnamed community found this rather funny & took to calling the first community "Roosterville". The people of Roosterville did not care for their new name &  took to calling the other community "Henwallow" out of spite.

The rest of the hike was again relatively uneventful, although it was a great day to be out! This trail is one of the easiest trails in the Cosby area & there were not too many climbs. There was still a considerable amount of snow despite the low elevation:


We finished up with the gravel road walk that is Maddron Bald trail back down to the truck. I feel like we spent more time driving & shuttling vehicles than hiking, but any day in the woods is a good one!