The Boxley Valley of the Buffalo National River is a great place. It's amazing to think that all of this could have been under water, if the plans to place two dams along the Buffalo had gone through. In fact, one of the dams would have been built near Boxley, near the mouth of the River. Luckily the conservationists won that battle, and the Buffalo River remains one of the last free-flowing rivers in the country.
Boxley Valley is similar to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, but here at the Buffalo the residents were allowed to stay on and live in the valley. So now you still have farmers working the fields, some of whom are descendants of the original settlers. The Valley is filled with old homes and barns. The center of the Valley is anchored by the Boxley Valley Baptist Church, built in the 1870s.
I had hoped that some of the fog that was around Steele Creek would be out around Boxley, but no luck. We did spot some elk in the fields, and some of the trumpeter swans were out too.
This church building was replaced with a newer church that sits nearby. The old church building now serves as a community center. The cemetery around the church has headstones that date back to the 1800s, and include some Civil War veterans.
Our plan for the morning was to hike the trail to Hawksbill Crag, and we were to meet my Aunt at the trailhead. So we hurried off and attempted the steep and bumpy drive up Cave Mountain Road...