Dog Day Afternoon-A Mill Creek Adventure
By: Teresa Fletcher
My friend Melanie has an awesome dog named Sparky. Like most dogs, Sparky likes to go for walks with Melanie and since I like to go for walks also, we decided to go to Mill Creek and take a walk together. Getting to Mill Creek is relatively easy, which is one of the many reasons that it’s one of my favorite places to get outside. As you travel Main Street in Narrows, turn beside the funeral home onto Northview Street, go all the way to the end of the paved road and continue straight up the dirt road until you see the parking lot on the left.
As we headed up the Waterfall trail, Sparky seemed to enjoy the fresh air and many scents he found along the way. Our first stop was at the Mill Dam where Sparky sampled the water and waded around a bit while Melanie and I took some photos. There are many places along the trail where you can get beautiful pictures of Mill Creek. When the creek is full you can hear the peaceful sound of the water all along the trail. After a few minutes of hiking, we ran into Ralph Robertson, who was hard at work doing trail maintenance. After spending a few minutes catching up with Ralph, we moved on to the Mercy Branch crossing. Sparky wasn’t too excited about crossing the water here, but after watching Melanie and I cross, he decided that if we could do it, he could manage it with no problem! Soon we were at the first waterfall. This waterfall is one of Giles County’s hidden gems. It is a beautiful spot and in the summer heat it’s a great place to have a picnic or just cool off. The coolness of the water works as Mother Nature’s air conditioning and you can feel the temperature drop as you walk down the slightly steep hill to the falls.
Retracing our steps to the parking lot, Sparky did an excellent job of letting his nose show us the way. He met a couple of new doggie friends and had a nice conversation at the Catwalk trailhead. Sparky, Melanie and I all had a very pleasant afternoon. Round trip to the first waterfall is about 3 miles and took us about 2 hours at a leisurely pace. While it’s not unusual to meet other people and pets on the many trails of Mill Creek, it is usually not crowded either. A great place for dogs and humans alike. Happy hiking!