Fall Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

Cataloochee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

I love to travel when the opportunity arises. Fortunately, I was able to visit the Great Smoky Mountains in and around the Gatlinburg area for a week this fall. Describing my experience might be difficult to share, but pictures tell a thousand words. First, I was able to experience this beautiful area with three other friends that love nature and hiking. Since we all share similar activities of being outdoors we connected for a fun filled weekend. Unfortunately, two had to return to reality while another friend and I were able to stay a bit longer and explore the beauty and mystery of the Great Smokey’s! Second, when planning to visit this area we had to think about how we were going to get around, where were we going to stay, what hikes could we do in the short time we were there, what eating establishments we wanted to try, and what other events were there the time of year we were visiting. As a result, this is what we came up with while visiting the Gatlinburg area. We flew in to Knoxville TN, which is only about 50 miles from Gatlinburg. We picked up a rental car from the airport and we were on our way. Next, the place we stayed for the weekend was a resort area or a time-share. Naturally it was expensive, but with a 90-minute presentation one morning the price for stay was less. After the weekend two of us stayed in a Days Inn for the remainder of the week. Of course, two returned with the original rental car to the airport as two of us rented a second car in Sevierville from Enterprise. We got pretty good deals on the cars we rented with a little help of an ARRP card and splitting the cost between the four of us. Furthermore, the hikes we did during the day ranged about 4-8 miles. The plan was to hike to some waterfalls, observe fall colors, bird watch or see other wildlife, and catch some fall events in the area. We were able to experience all of the above mention items in our short stay. Each night we discussed the hikes we wanted to do with the help of visitor center maps and the Smokies Guide paper. Likewise, we were able to visit a whole stretch of road that was lined with gift shops, artists, pottery makers, and much, much more for possible souvenirs to bring home. Besides the great fun, the food was not a problem because of the wide variety that was available in the area. For the most part we ate a good breakfast and dinner and while hiking we stopped at the nearby grocery store to buy snacks, fresh fruits, and treats to carry with us on the day hike in our backpacks. No doubt, this was one of the most beautiful and mysterious places I have had to visit during the fall season. It was definitely high on my list of adventures. The views were breath taking and trying to capture the experience with my camera was a bit challenging with lighting. I hope my photos do justice for the areas I had a chance to visit. They say, “ A picture paints a thousand words. “ I know the experience I had did just that.  

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