I am just a guy who loves living life to the fullest. Whether it is out hiking the trails of East Tennessee, adventures in the backcountry, or visiting and learning about historical sites, I enjoy it all.

I document my journeys though various forms of social media with pictures, videos, and blogs as a way for me to look back. If you enjoy this kind of thing, I invite you to pour a beer and join me on my adventures.

As Always, Stay Safe and Hike On!
L. Alex Hauck


Cherokee National Park / Citico Wildnerss Area

Stiffknee to Slickrock Creek & Overnight

After Action Report - September 27 - 28, 2023

I took Monday and Tuesday off from work and headed out to the woods for a cold overnight. My adventure started off in Cherokee National Forest in the Citico Wilderness Area and ended up in Nantahala National Forest in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area. I hiked down Stiffknee to the Stiffknee / Slickrock junction where I set up camp and then continued up Slickrock for a little while. After spending a frosty night in the woods, I then hiked back up Stiffknee.   

The Stiffknee trail I will breakdown into three sections; The Doozy, Wide Open, and Overgrown. Each had its positives and negatives, except for the wide-open portion that was just enjoyable all around. 

If you are starting in Cherokee National Forest and you are hiking this one there and back the first and last 1.3 miles is not to be taken lightly. The elevation grade is steep! Not only is it steep but it is at an angle that makes footing and balance difficult. On the days I hiked the trail you can add in a lot of wet, slippery leaves and it makes it a little scary. There were couple of sections where a tree got uprooted and fell over taking parts of the trail with it so over these sections you will need to shimmy across. There were also a couple of super steep areas where on the way down I slid on my butt and on the way up I felt like I was alpine climbing. I had to push my trekking poles into the ground to hole my position then basically kick step or move the several layers of leaves and duff off the ground to I could get solid footing. This whole section was terribly slow going. 

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Video - Stiffknee to Slickrock Creek & Overnight

Stiffknee to Slickrock Creek & Overnight Pictures

Cherokee National Forest - citco creek wildnerness

Overnight on Crowder Branch

Blog: September 30, 2023

This was an outstanding night of solitude out in the forest and a fun hike. Click here for my past blog where I give a description of the actual hike. The hike itself was easier as I did not have Frank to contend with on the uneven Crowder Branch Trail, but I did unlock a new hiking fear. Acorns, you hit a pile of those hidden underneath some leaves and it is like stepping on marbles. 

The campsite itself is beautiful right on the Crowder Branch Trail, complete with a mountain spring that doubles as a natural refrigerator. I was able to set up my tent in a decent spot, but I could not find anywhere that was perfectly flat. That did not matter though as it was one of the best solo overnight outdoor sleeps I have had to date.   

I did not see any wildlife other than a few birds flying overhead, but I heard a ton, more than I have ever heard on the trails. I had birds, ducks, woodpeckers, squirrels, hunting dogs, coyotes, owls, and even possible Sasquatch knocks (I will get into this a bit later). I literally just sat by the fire and listened to all the nature that was around. I usually camp out by streams or creeks, so maybe not having the sound of rushing water helped to amplify the wildlife noises.  

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YouTube Video:

Overnight on Crowder Branch Links:

Crowder Branch Overnight Pictures


Featured Videos

Fall 2023 rich Mountain Loop Hike

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Sunday October 22, 2023

The Rich Mountain Loop Hike is by far one of my favorite fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains. The trail does have some elevation to it so you have to work for it, but it offers some great colors in the fall. You can also tell the difference between the leaves at different stages of elevation on this hike.

Blog Post | Instagram Profile | YouTube Channel | AllTraisl Recording 

Surviving Carter Caves

Carter Caves State Park
July 21-23, 2023

Four friends start out on an epic three-day adventure that will take them to a sunken steamboat, rappelling off a natural bridge, hiking to three more natural bridges, and finally trying to concur the Bat Cave. However, as the trip progressed it became a struggle just for survival. This is the story of Surviving Carter Caves.  

Blog Post | AllTrails Profile - Recording | YouTube VideoYouTube Channel

Alum Cave Trail & Coffee on Cliff T0-

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Saturday July 15, 2023

Alum Cave Trail, what can I say that has not been said already. This is one of the Smoky Mountains’ most popular trails and there are a few reasons why. This trail has it all starting with the views and there are many along this five and half mile trek. There are several distinctive features that stand out...

YouTube Video | Blog Post YouTube Channel | AllTrails Recording 

-My adventure blog -

Featured Blog Posts

Seven Island State Birding Park : Saturday December 16, 2023
I took the bird dog to a bird park and did bird dog things! This was a great park for Frank, with so much wildlife to see and look at. Seven Island is in a more urban setting and not as secluded and rugged as say Frozen Head but still extremely beautiful. This is the perfect place to take your pup for a long or short hike.  

I missed one section I wanted ...

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Crowder Branch Overnight

Sunday, November 30, 2023: 
This was an outstanding night of solitude out in the forest and a fun hike. The hike itself was easier as I did not have Frank... Continue Reading