Saturday, March 30th was one of the first really nice weekend weather days of spring 2013, so I had to be outdoors! I decided to drive up I-75 a few short miles – actually almost all the way to Tennessee – and brought along one of my favorite hiking partners, who shall be called Hulk. Johns Mountain Loop and the Keown (“cow-an”) Falls Trail are both relatively short hikes, and it made sense to combine them into one hiking experience since they run into each other.
Total Length: 4.72 miles
Hulk and I parked down at the base of Johns Mountain at the Keown Falls Recreation Area. From here we quickly hopped onto the Keown Falls Trail which follows the Falls much of the way. The trail ascends up the mountain very quickly through a series of switchbacks, we passed a family that had two small children which I would not recommend bringing along. As the trail nears the first view of the Falls it narrows and becomes rocky. One misstep and you’ll find yourself taking a quick trip back to the base of Johns Mountain. At the top of the trail were the pretty Keown Falls, they tend to dry up by summer so if you’re planning on going I’d recommend viewing during spring or after a big rainfall.
There’s an observation deck at the top of the falls, but there’s also a trail that leads to a cool cove behind the falls.
The view of the falls from the observation deck wasn’t nearly as cool as being behind the falls in the cove.
After viewing the falls, Hulk and I finished the ascent up Johns Mountain, he was patient as a saint and as encouraging as a cheerleader while I whined about my new hiking pants not cutting it.
Once we arrived at the top, it all seemed worth it to feel the swift breeze and stunning vista that greeted us:
The rest of Johns Mountain Loop was very easy and enjoyable hiking, providing additional views similar to the one directly above, and finally dumping us back at the Keown Falls observation deck.
This portion of the hike was very peaceful:
The final stop at Keown Falls:
All in all, this was a highly enjoyable hike that only took about 2.5 hours, included gorgeous vistas and many different views of the Falls. Happy hiking!