The Great Smoky Mountains are home to thousands of miles of streams, making it a memorable destination for fishermen and fisherwomen to visit. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park provides lots of public access area for visitors to explore, get away from the crowds and catch lots of fish. While the area is best known for its trout fishing, there are also large numbers of smallmouth bass fishing opportunities in the area as well.Read More
Wedding Bells Ringing in the Great Smoky Mountains
The scenic background of the Great Smoky Mountains adds the romance for couples getting married in Gatlinburg. The city is not only a beautiful place to say your vows, it is also affordable. You will love the cozy cabins that can be reserved for your honeymoon, the amazing landscape of the mountains, and the charm and atmosphere that can only be found in Tennessee.Read More
Driving The Blueridge Parkway
Known as America’s favorite drive, the Blueridge Parkway winds beautifully for 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia amid mountains, lush forests and charming villages. Giving those that are driving the Blueridge Parkway spectacular views of Appalachian and Cherokee heritage, the road also offers up breathtaking displays of fiery foliage in the fall, a waterfall, historic homesteads and some of the oldest mountains in the world.Read More
Viewing Wildlife in The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are in North Carolina and Tennessee of the United States, and anyone who wants to see wildlife that is native to the eastern part of the country will find it in this region. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the best place to get out and explore the mountain range. Within these beautiful mountains are found some of the most fascinating animals and amazing birds in North America.Read More
Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails In The Winter Months
There is just something about hiking during the winter months that turns ordinary hiking trails into an adrenaline rush adventure. Everything changes. Familiar scenery and recognizable landmarks turn into strangely-shaped items covered by winter’s blanket of white. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains gives one an exhilarating experience among frozen waterfalls and pristine snow-covered forests. Visitors often make their way to this part of the country and lodge in a cabin in Gatlinburg in preparation for their excursion into this winter wonderland on foot.
Some of the best winter hiking trails anywhere are found here. Laurel Falls is a cascading waterfall that drops 85 feet, and its paved hiking trail is a little over a mile long. For those who feel up to it, an additional three miles of unpaved trail give hardy hikers the extra thrill they love. Rainbow Falls sprays an icy mist into the air during winter months that turns the area into a glistening landscape. The hiking trail here is over five miles round trip, and it would probably be gauged as moderately difficult.
Anyone who chooses to hike in the Smoky Mountains in the winter should become familiar with the special hiking tips that apply to cold weather adventures. An absolute must is to notify someone else of your plans and all of your trip details. The information should include the route you plan to take and the times you intend to depart and return from the hike. In case of an emergency or if you get lost, this vital knowledge could mean the difference between life and death. Finding a winter hiker in the quickest time possible is crucial.
Because weather conditions can drastically change so rapidly in the mountains, it is extremely important that one pays very close attention to the weather at all times. No one should cross a stream that is swollen. Without warning, a flash flood can occur and be deadly. Additionally, it can be very tempting to leave the marked trails when adventure calls. The risk, however, is not worth the danger of getting lost. Even a person who has never been lost can find himself disoriented in the vast whiteness produced by a snowfall.
The beauty of nature to be discovered during a winter hike can’t be experienced at any other time of the year. With a bit of preparation and a sense of adventure, the thrill is on.
Top Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are filled with beautiful hiking trails, wildlife, and history. Each hiking trail has its own beautiful sites and rich history. Some hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains are longer and more strenuous than others, so finding the perfect hiking trail is key to a successful hike.
One hiking trail option is the hike to Alum Cave. This hike is 4.4 miles roundtrip. The trail follows Alum Cave Creek to Arch Rock. Arch Rock was created by the thawing and freezing of ice each year, which eroded the softer rock. About two miles into the hike, you will reach Inspiration Point, which has amazing views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge and Myrtle Point. At 2.2 miles, you will reach the Alum Cave.
The Baskins Creek Falls is 3.0 mile hiking trail. This trail offers great views of the mountains and of Gatlinburg. While on this hiking trail, you will cross two creeks and past Baskins Cemetery. At the end, you will reach Baskins Creek Falls, a 40 foot, two tiered waterfall.
Brushy Mountains is a 6.8 mile hike. This hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains has many wildflowers, especially during the month of May. There are four stream crossings on this hiking trail, and you will walk past Grotto Falls. Grotto Falls in the only waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that you can walk behind. After checking out the waterfall, you can continue on the Brushy Mountain hiking trail to the summit.
The Bullhead Trail is a 5.9 mile hike. This hiking trail offers spectacular views of the mountains and wildlife, as well as different trail options along the way.
Chimney Tops is a 4.0 mile hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains. This trail is short, but don’t think that makes this trail an easy hike. Because it is shorter, this hiking trail is very steep. However, the reward for making it to the top is a beautiful view of Mount LeConte, Mount Kephart, and the Sugarland Mountain. The summit of this hike is bare rock, and the climb to the top is very steep, so be careful as many injuries occur here.
Huskey Gap is a 4.2 mile hike. The best time to hike this trail is in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom. This trail can be crowded during this time of year, but the wildflowers are the main attraction of this hiking trail, and they are too beautiful to miss.
Mount LeConte has many trails that lead to the summit, and one of them is the trail via Trillium Gap. This hiking trail is 13.9 miles long. As you walk this trail, you will pass many waterfalls on your way to the High Top, or the summit. Once at the top, there are two great locations for panoramic views. Myrtle Point is the best location if you want to see the sunrise, while Cliff Top is the best location to see a sunset.
Rainbow Falls is a 5.4 mile hike to the highest single drop waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. This waterfall was given its name because when the sun shines on the mist from the waterfall, it produces a rainbow. To reach the waterfall, hikers walk through a beautiful old growth forest.
The Boulevard Trail to Mt. LeConte is a tough trail, but you will see the North Carolina Smokies, Mount LeConte, and Myrtle Point on the way up. On this trail, you will come across and unofficial hiking trail called the Jump-off. This trail is great for panoramic views, and is definitely worth the extra hiking.
Another trail to Mt. LeConte is the trail via Alum Cave Trail. After passing Alum Cave, you will reach Gracie’s Pulpit, named after Gracie McNichol. She hiked this trail on her 92nd birthday! The next few miles you will pass several waterfalls and walk along rock ledges. Most of these rock ledges have hand rails, but they can be very slippery and icy in the winter months, so caution is advised. The top does not disappoint, though, with amazing panoramic views.
These are just some of the hiking trails that you will find in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains are definitely worth a visit, as they are filled with beautiful views, wildlife at every turn, history all the way back to the civil war, and adventure at every bend.
Cades Cove Let’s Go For A Bike Ride
Cades Cove, Tennessee, is a hidden gem in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This cove, or valley surrounded on all sides by mountains, was first settled by Cherokee in the late 1700s and later became home in the early 1800s to European settlers. The cove attracts millions of visitors each year, and is in fact the most popular section of the extensive national park. During three seasons of the year, visitors can enjoy the scenery and wildlife abundant in this preserved early Appalachian community by biking around the 11-mile one-way Cades Cove Loop road.
The History of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The idea started in the late 1890s to create a national park in the mountains. There was a mission of the people with a goal for the creation of the Smoky Mountain National park and that was for the public land to be preserved in the southern Appalachians. An unsuccessful bill even entered the North Carolina Legislature. By the early 20th century, many more people in North and South were pressuring Washington a public preserve in the Eastern United States.Read More