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Day Four
Home Cloudland Canyon State Park


            8:00 Depart hotel for Cloudland Canyon State Park.

            9:00 Arrive at Cloudland Canyon State Park and park at the picnic area.

            9:15 Student presentation on water erosion.

            9:30 Start walking on the trail from the picnic area.  You will follow the trail to the right. 

            9:20 Stop at The Point Overview.  Here, you are 800 feet above the valley.  Discuss how these rocks formed.  Then, continue walking on the trail.

            9:40 Stop at the overlook across from the picnic shelter.  Discuss the variability in the layers and discuss the variance in vegetation.  Also, look for examples of graded bedding.  Then, continue walking on the trail.

            10:00 Stop at the overlook with the telescopes.  Locate bowl shaped depressions and discuss how they formed.  Also, locate huge cubic boulders as they will be discussed later (on the optional hike).  Turn around and follow the trail back to the Waterfall Trail.

            10:45 Stop just beyond the wooden steps and look at the sedimentary rock.  Find examples of cross-bedding and explain why that is there.  Continue down the trail and look for a change in the sandstone from massively bedded to cross-bedded. 

            11:00 Stop at the huge rock overhang and discuss its origin.  Also, note the strange markings underneath it called sole marks which indicate stream flow direction.  Continue down the trail.

            11:25 As you continue walking, notice the change in the rocks from sandstone to shale.  Discuss why there is a change in rock.  Follow the trail to the left the upper waterfall.

            11:50 Arrive at the base of the Upper Daniel Creek Waterfall.  Note the alternating rock layers with shale and sandstone.  Notice the variety of sediment in the streambed.  Discuss how the waterfall was created due to a more resistant layer of rock. 

            12:15 Student presentation on the formation of waterfalls.

            12:20 Return up the trail and then walk down to the lower waterfall.

            12:45 Arrive at the base of the Lower Daniel Creek Waterfall.  The focal point here is a huge sandstone boulder at the base of the falls.  Discuss how this came to be at the base of the falls.  Discuss the layering of the rocks and the erosion that formed the canyon.  Return up the trail and back to the picnic area.

            1:45 Drive to Trenton for lunch then return to the East Rim of Cloudland Canyon.

            3:30 There will be an optional hike on the West Rim Trail.  This trail goes from the East Rim, through the gorge, and over to the West Rim.  Those doing this hike will observe the boulders viewed from across the rim earlier and have incredible views into the canyon and examine the canyon floor.  Those opting not to do the hike will remain in the picnic area and create a topographic map of Cloudland Canyon and then make a 3-D topographic map, marking off the West Rim Trail.

            6:30 Pick up hikers at the West Rim Campground and return to the hotel for dinner.