Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn't the tallest of waterfalls, but it's powerful and in a beautiful setting. But it's a popular hike, so we recommend going early.
On this four-mile round-trip hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the highlight was supposed to be Fern Branch Falls. But with the low water flow, the beautiful creek and the food chain in action were more interesting to us.
After hiking up the Alum Cave Trail the day before, we spent the night in a rustic cabin at the top of Mt. LeConte. This entry recounts our hike down the other side of the mountain past Rainbow Falls.
We were fortunate to be able to get an overnight spot at LeConte Lodge, a hike-in, no frills, place to stay in the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are a few places like this in the National Parks across the country and they usually require reservations months in advance. However, I've been lucky enough to get in by calling at the last minute to see if there have been cancellations. On this two-day hike, we hiked up the Alum Cave Trail, and then down the Rainbow Falls Trail the next day.
The hike to Jump Off in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park goes along the Appalachian Trail for a little ways before branching off into a less traveled area. There were great views, and it was a good test preceding our upcoming two-day hike to Mt. LeConte and back.
This lovely, uncrowded, three-mile round-trip hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park made for a nice, peaceful afternoon. We saw no one else on the trail and had the falls to ourselves - a rare treat in the National Parks.
Known for bear sightings, the Cades Cove Loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a very popular drive. In peak season, you can expect the 11-mile, one-way loop to be packed with cars, and you might get stuck in a "bear jam" for quite some time. On this rainy day, we saw a few deer, no bears, and plenty of humans and their tail-lights.
We've been in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a lot over the years, but today we had our best Black Bear sighting - a sow and two tiny cubs. And we followed that up with a waterfall hike and a scenic drive.