I love the Great Smoky Mountains and Cades Cove! The beauty of these places cannot be compared to any other. The Smoky Mountains National Park has a gorgeous landscape, and I love driving through it during each season to see the beauty of the land.
This is one place where you truly can experience every season. In the Spring, there is an assortment of greens sprinkled across the hills. The birds, deer and smaller wildlife are bright with life and, seemingly, excited that winter is now passed. The summers can get hot, yet, not as hot as other places. The days are comfortably warm with the evenings still becoming a bit cool, especially in the higher elevations.
Fall is probably my most favorite time, as the colors can almost be found nowhere else. No matter where you go in The Smokies during the fall, the foliage is just simply gorgeous. This is proven by the plethora of tourists who make yearly visits to the mountains during the month of October. That is probably the only thing I don’t really appreciate about fall months in The Smokies.
The wildlife is definitely something to see in the Smoky Mountains National Park. You can just take a drive or a nice hike, and it is possible to see deer, bear and even elk. Upon driving into the park from Cherokee, NC, you will often see elk in a pasture off the side of the road. If you drive into Cades Cove, especially at dusk, you will see herd of deer, and many times, you will have to wait in a line of traffic because of a “bear jam.” If you are in search of some wildlife, The Smokies are a fun adventure!
There are so many hikes to take that I would not be able to mention them all. I will mention a few of my personal favorites, Abrahm’s Falls, Ramsey Cascades, the Chimneys, Gregory’s Bald, Newfoundland Gap, Clingman’s Dome and the Cat Stairs. If you’re looking for an overnight hiking trip, you can hike to Mount LeConte and take a snooze break at the LeConte Lodge. This is definitely not your five-star hotel. You will not find your high speed internet, modern accommodations or the swimming pool, but it is a warm meal, hot shower and bedding for the weary travelers. To show you how remote this inn is, the food and supplies needed for this inn are not transported there by car. They are packed in on llamas!! I, personally, have never stayed there, but my dad says it’s a pretty neat experience, and it’s definitely a warm welcome after s long day’s hike.
If you visit the East Coast and the Appalachain Mountain Range areas, The Smoky Mountain National Park is a must to place on your itenarary. You can stay close in Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Townsend, and many cabins and other accommodations have “mountain view” rooms. There’s plenty of other things to do in the area, as well, but that might be another blog for another day. If you have never been to The Smokies, I encourage you to make the trip. It will be well worth it!