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Roaming Gnome | profile | all galleries >> Places >> Virginia >> Far Southwest Virgina >> Clinch Mountain & Environs tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Clinch Mountain & Environs

Far Southwest Virginia: One Of The Last Great Places On Earth video

Dedicated to the memory and efforts of the late Jack Kestner and the late Charles Kennedy - visionary conservators, legends, humble and true men of the mountain.

At first blush this gallery may appear ad hoc. I was going to break it into sub-galleries for landscapes, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc., but opted not to in an effort to avoid redundancy and to depict and convey interactions existing within the regional ecosystem. To that end I have created sub-galleries by general location. If you're more comfortable viewing Flora and fauna categorically some of my other galleries will hopefully accomodate you. Also, I'm neither a scientist nor professional photographer. Studying and photographing nature is my hobby. A reasonable effort is made to correctly identify images; however, I'm not omiscent and welcome credible corrections. Enjoy...

Clinch Mountain, often blanketed by a morning mist, runs diagonally from Tennessee northeast through Virginia into West Virginia. The Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains are situated to the northeast and the Smokey Mountains to the southwest.

Scenic Clinch Mountain is one of our most beloved and prominent landmarks. We hunt, fish, and hike there. Many of our youthful memories are there. Daniel Boone and our pioneer ancestors crossed it to settle here. Wherever we may roam, Clinch Mountain is with us. Itís in our blood. Itís our home.

During the late Ordovician Period of the Paleozoic Era, 450 million years ago, Earthís continents were low and covered by shallow seas. As these continents drifted toward one another and collided, the sediment between them was compressed and pushed up with tremendous force. Each clash of these mighty continents pushed the older eastern mountain ranges further west. This is how the Appalachian Mountains, of which Clinch Mountain is a part, were formed.

The sandstone and shale strata, remnants of earlier shallow seas, are easily seen on Clinch Mountain today. The sandstone is mostly gray to white in color, very durable, and produces fine white sand. Geologically itís referred to as Clinch Sandstone.

Unique features of Clinch Mountain are its steep slopes and narrow ravines, offering an intriguing blend of both northern and southern forests. A wide variety of game, birds, fish, and other wildlife inhabit its wooded slopes, open fields, and in its lakes and numerous tumbling streams. Here there are flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world.

This gallery's focus is photo-documenting flora and fauna on and in the immediate environs of Clinch Mountain from High Knob near Norton, the fire tower at Fugate Gap near Mendota, and continuing northeast to the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, inclusive of Big Tumbling Creek, Laurel Bed Lake, Channels State Forest, Hidden Valley Lake, Beartown Mountain, Rich Mountain, Elk Garden, and on into Burke's Garden.

Elevation at High Knob is approx. 4,223 ft.; the Mendota Fire Tower is approx. 3,020 ft.; approx. 4,208 ft. at the Hayter's Knob Fire Tower in the Channels State Forest; approx. 2,000 feet in Elk Garden; and approx. 4,689 at the summit of Beartown Mountain in Russell Co.
Channels State Forest and Hidden Valley Lake
:: Channels State Forest and Hidden Valley Lake ::
Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area (CMWMA)
:: Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area (CMWMA) ::
Clinch River
:: Clinch River ::
High Knob and Jefferson National Forest  area in Wise Co.
:: High Knob and Jefferson National Forest area in Wise Co. ::
Russell Co.
:: Russell Co. ::
Scott County
:: Scott County ::
Smyth County
:: Smyth County ::
Tazewell County
:: Tazewell County ::
Washington Co.
:: Washington Co. ::