The main objective of our trip was to visit the Great Smokey Mountain National Park while the weather permitted was warm enough to allow us to get some reference photos without having to wear snow shoes
Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Asheville is the most visited national park with 10 million visitors each year. There are 520,976 acres to explore. When I think of the park the first thing that comes to mind is hiking majestic mountain top with awesome views. While it is true that this International Biosphere Reserve is home to rugged mountains (with many of its peaks in excess of 6,000 feet), it also has historic homesteads, 100,000 different types of plants and animals, and lots and lots of water..
Since the park is so large, how does one go about exploring it in a three day weekend? There are four entrances to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park within 60 miles from downtown Asheville. We tried to see and do all the top listed things from each of these entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains. I have created posts which highlight the best of our experiences in these areas.
The Deep creak area of the Great Smokies is popular for its streams and waterfalls.
Hikers can choose from several loop hikes leading to several small waterfalls We took several of these short hikes.
The sound of the water gurgling through these ancient rocks is musical.
But there is running water everywhere in the Smoky Mountains.
Dribbles out of the mountain side along the road ways
like these trickles along Highway 144
or chatters noisily through small narrow creeks
Joining with other creeks, picking up speed andc cascading down hillsides in every larger volumes as it does here in Juney Wank falls
As it reaches the lower elevations it spreads out
in large reflecting ponds
and spreads into gentle streams safe enough for children to play in (as it does here in a stream near Cherokee).
Of course, there was much more to see and do in The Great Smokey Mountains, but those activities are topics for future posts.