Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Trails

Doug's and my first visit to the Smokies was Memorial Day weekend, 1990. We were in our mid-forties and had never done any hiking. After hiking to Mount LeConte on that trip, we swore we'd never hike again. But we had fallen in love with the Smokies, and the best way to experience them is to hike the trails. So we went out and bought some hiking boots and have been enjoying the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park about twice a year ever since. Here are a few of them.

Abrams Falls Trail

Little River Trail

Middle Prong Trail

Not sure, but I think this may have been the Rainbow Falls trail to Mount LeConte.

Alum Cave Bluffs Trail

Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail

Little River Trail
We're finding some of the steeper trails a little more of a challenge these days, but there are still plenty of opportunities for getting out into the park and enjoying its trails, rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife.


  1. Oh wow.. these are wonderful. I can't imagine not taking advantage of hiking these beautiful trails. They don't appear to be overly rugged and they sure are impressive. Looking forward to seeing more.

  2. Hi, Hilary. (My fingers almost made your name "Hilarity," which may be a better fit.) :)

    Some of the trails have a significant gain in elevation, but none are of the rock-climbing variety. All are well maintained, and you really can't get lost if you stay on the trail. You would love that place. There is a photo op around every bend.

  3. You and Doug are great ambassadors for the Smokies -- they really ought to be paying you something. :)

    I remember the first time you invited us to go with you and I was all for it, until you showed me a picture of the cabin you were renting -- which was perched precariously (that's what it looked like to ME!) on the side of a mountain. I suddenly had something else I had to do. :) But I'm glad you persevered and finally got us to go. It really is beautiful. And you have really captured the feel in these pictures. Good job.

  4. I really enjoyed my last visit there 3 years ago. I found a clay shard, stepping off a trail, that looked like a piece of an old crock. I would like to see if I could find it again.

  5. Oh how we also love the Smokies... We've been almost everywhere --except LeConte... I should have done it years ago before my knee surgery. Don't think I could hike that far anymore.

    We have been to Rainbow Falls ---so we got about half way to LeConte--but it was a hot summer day and I couldn't make it any farther...

    We love the area above Elkmont (which you have pictured I think)--along the Little River. We also have been to the off roads near Tremont --and have seen several waterfalls in that area. We love the Tremont area --and also the Greenbriar area (east of Gatlinburg toward Cosby)....

    Like you, we've done lots and lots of hiking in the Smokies --and we usually go there during 'off seasons' since we don't like crowds...

    If you ever want to go somewhere neat (if you haven't), go on the Foothills Parkway (near Townsend). There's a huge tower on the top of the mountain which you can hike to (not long).. You can see Clingman's Dome, LeConte, etc. from that tower... I have blogged about it --in addition to many of the other places in the Smokies.

    This post made me so excited since I love to meet people who enjoy hiking like we do.

  6. Sandra-That was a fun trip, when you and your Hubby went with us, except that it was so HOT that week. We're always glad when friends go with us. We love introducing new people to the area.

    Out on the Prairie-Even if you could tell me what trail and about how far up it, I doubt that I could locate that clay shard you mentioned. I'm always on the lookout for arrowheads, but I've never found one.

  7. Betsy-When we first started going to the Smokies, we always stayed at the old Wonderland Hotel in the Elkmont area; and, yes, Little River Trail is there. It's become a favorite hike as we've gotten older because it's not strenuous at all.

    The Middle Prong trail is in the Tremont area and accesses some pretty waterfalls. Porters Creek Trail is in Greenbrier...instead of turning left at the bridge to go to Ramsey Cascades trail, you go straight to the end of the road for the Porters Creek trailhead. There's a nice waterfall a couple of miles up that trail. Not spectacular, but nice.

    We've also been to Look Rock on the western Foothills Parkway. The hike, as you said, is short; but it's a killer with its steepness.

    We usually go spring and fall. If we're ever there at the same time, we should meet somewhere.


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