For Florida vacationers, visiting the small town of Chipley typically includes a trip to Falling Waters State Park in order to enjoy the waterfall and the surrounding breathtaking scenery.
Updated 2/10/2020 – However, the state park has proven to be a worthwhile (and beautiful) location for people who are looking to prepare to hike the Appalachian Trail.
Jenni (Name changed for privacy), who first grew to enjoy the great outdoors when she took up yoga seven years ago, has decided that several months of 2017 would be spent hiking the 2,000 mile trail up through Maine.
There’s Something Behind the trees…
But in order to successfully hike and camp along the Appalachian Trail alone, she must first train her body to endure.
“Hiking along the trails in Chipley was fairly easy, but just thinking about the Appalachian Trail made me shake in my hiking boots a little,” she admitted with a shy laugh.
“It’s a massive undertaking and I knew that Falling Waters would be a great location to test out all of the gear I had purchased for my grand journey.
“When I got to the park around 9 AM, I was in a great mood,” she recalled.
“I was feeling optimistic and strong, as if nothing could deter me from reaching my goal.
Boy, was I wrong,” she added with a grimace.
“I was all alone on the trail but I didn’t mind this until I began to hear the snapping of twigs and branches to the right of me, inside the tree line.
Normally I would have chalked the noises up to typical animal life one sees at the park—squirrels, chipmunks…the friendly, furry creatures in the movie Bambi.
Normally, I wouldn’t have been scared, except that it seemed like the noises were following me as I continued along the trailhead.
The Sasquatch of Chipley
“I told myself that it was just nerves and that I would have to push through my paranoia.
If I couldn’t handle being in a friendly little park like Falling Waters, then I had no business hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Still, the sound of branches snapping continued to follow me, and my heart began to race tenfold,” Jenni whispered.
“I picked up my pace, but the snapping sounds still followed me! It seemed as if whatever—or whoever—was making that dreadful noise had also picked up its pace, just so it could keep me in its sights.
After several moments of talking to myself, trying to come to grips with the situation, I finally took a deep breath, stopped dead in my tracks, and turned to face the woods.
“As I stood there and watched, I saw an extremely tall, thin figure dart behind one tree to the next.
It looked human in shape, but it was taller than any human I had seen.
What was infinitely worse was that it wore a black robe with the hood up over its face.
“I kept staring in horror until finally the creature peeked out from behind the tree and let out the strangest, most terrifying growl I have ever heard,” Jenni whispered, looking teary eyed.
“I have vowed to keep training for the Appalachian Trail, but I don’t do it anywhere near Chipley anymore.”