Devil’s Courthouse

We live in the heart of the original Cherokee nation.  During the infamous Trail of Tears, many of the Cherokee hid out in our mountains to avoid the forced march and today that group’s ancestors live on the Qualla Boundary – the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation reservation.  Because of that heritage, many legends and names live on today (including Cheoah, the Cherokee word for Otter and the official name of our own Cheesewhiz the Siberian).

One of the legends is of a fierce, slant eyed giant called Judaculla.  Judaculla lived in the Richland Balsams (one of our favorite hiking areas) but held court in a cave in a nearby mountain.  Thus, that mountain’s official name is Whiteside Mountain, but it is more commonly called Devil’s Courthouse (which is actually the name of just the rock outcropping – not the whole mountain).  Today’s pictures all come from a day at The Devil.

The rock outcropping of Devil's Courthouse - the rest of the pictures are from the top - elevation 5,720 feet (1,743 meters).

Cheoah (a/k/a Cheesewhiz) says the climb to the top was just a little tiring.

Natasha and Kiska were most interested in whatever was rustling through the brush.

But at least some of us knew to just relax and enjoy the views.

And the views in every direction are spectacular.

A fuzzy Rusty sure enjoys it.


  1. Khumbu on April 23, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Wooo what a great place for a walk, it looks beautiful.

  2. The Army of Four on April 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Those views are awesome! (Especially a rather fluffy Rusty – ha woo!)
    But I thought you guys lived in NC?!? So what’s with the Devil’s Courthouse? According to that Charlie Daniels guy, the Devil went down to GEORGIA! So… what’s his courthouse doing in NC? I’m so confused!
    Play bows,

  3. Kess & Her Mama on April 22, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Awesome view! Thanks for sharing the history behind the place. Have a good weekend.

  4. siku marie on April 22, 2011 at 1:06 am

    There is just something extraordinary about the views when you’ve hiked to the summit and take those first looks around as you catch your breath! What a beautiful vista.

  5. Huffle Mawson on April 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Lovely views! And I see some plucking in Rusty’s future.

  6. NCMountainwoman on April 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    We love that trail. Great view with not so much effort. My husband will soon be able to be back on the trails. I just know that one of these days the Golden Girls and the Thundering Herd are going to run into each other.

  7. The OP Pack on April 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    What a great place to go for a hike. No wonder Qannik was bored on Wednesday:) We are glad you didn’t scare us like KB did and show Rusty leaping over a big rock.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  8. Lexi and Jasper the Danes on April 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    That looks like an amazing place!

    Thank you for teaching us a bit more about where you live – we love learning stuff like that 🙂

    Licks and lots of slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

  9. Kari on April 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Those are great views. I miss being able to get out hiking!


  10. Jan on April 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Beautiful scenery, but we also wonder what was rustling in the bushes.

  11. Stella on April 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Anyone interested in more info about the Trail of Tears has only to read the March issue of Smithsonian Magazine. Andrew Jackson was portrayed as a narrow minded Indian hater and some are suggesting his likeness be removed from the $20 because of what he did, and replaced with an Indian.

    More interesting facts of the times!

    Jo and Stella

  12. Sierra Rose on April 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Amazing place!!! What great hike, and trememdous views! So much history. Thank you for taking us on this incredible hike with all of you!

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  13. Wild Dingo on April 21, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I’m rockin’ out to Khyra’s tune… that’s some rock there! oh and Rusty is sure lucky not to live with me. i cannot resist harvesting that pluck!

  14. Carolyn on April 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Rusty, Khyra is right–you better get ready! We’ve already started the fun w/Maddox here. Ugh, fur EVERYWHERE. UGH.

    And nowhere beautiful to go. Mom hates walking us around here so much that we just play hard in the backyard which fortunately is huge, and we love it. She would give anything to live somewhere beautiful like that!!!

  15. houndstooth4 on April 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Gah! You threw in that floof shot just to drive us mad!

    That place looks beautiful, and I love places with history like that. It makes things seem so interesting and ancient. You have some of the prettiest places to hike to there!

  16. Khyra on April 21, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Mom’s fingers are twitching –

    Watch it Rusty – the plukhking is khoming!

    PeeEssWoo: Mom says something about an earworm – but I’m sure woo knew it was khoming

  17. Ruth on April 21, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Beautiful view!

  18. rottrover on April 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    The mountain views are breathtaking. Are those the Smokey Mountains?

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