Determined to get a hike in before the rain, but not wanting to drive too far, I opted to head into the Horse Creek Recreation Area in Greene County, TN. This part of the Cherokee National Forest is a mere 11.7 miles from home (which, when one lives in the country, is a short trip), and one I am close-my-eyes familiar with after relocating only six months ago.
Not in the mood to rock hop across the creek risking wet toes and a possible wipe out (did that a few months back and wrecked my arm) without a hiking partner, I chose to simply meander around the Horse Creek Campground.
With my trusty Subaru, Penny Royal, and my Siberian Husky, Daciana, we headed in late morning on a Sunday in January. We had unseasonably warm 50-degree temps, but the campground was all but deserted, save the two souls I chanced upon in our 40-minute jaunt.
Trekking the campground was certainly not the most strenuous of "hikes," but it did prove to be ample exercise, meandering up and down along the creek and in circular patterns flanking each camp plot on mostly paved terrain. It was actually perfect for a cloudy, grey quick mountain trip when I really needed to boost my spirits.
Horse Creek Campground is at a slight elevation of 1,840 ft, and is open for camping May 1 - November 15. There are a number of side trails, including a moderate 2.5 mile hike to Squibb Creek Falls and the 5.5 mile Middle Springs Ridge Trail that will link up with the AT.