Monday, September 29, 2008

Smoky Mountain National Park, Part I - Waterfalls

We just got back from our family vacation. This year we went to Smoky Mountain National Park. We rented a cabin outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We had four days to enjoy the surroundings.

We wanted to get out and see the park. So we grabbed our cameras and found a listing of waterfalls in the park. Of the four shown here, two could be driven to. The other two required hiking in. Rachael did pretty well on the hikes. Of course, Kristin did have a Kelty backpack carrier for Rachael to ride in for much of the hiking! (And do not say Rachael has it so easy - if I hear that one more time...)

On to the falls...

This is The Sinks. It is right off the road. Actually, it is under a bridge in the road. It is the first of two falls we saw that you can drive to. It is not very large, but carries a large volume of water.

This is Meigs Falls. It is the second falls we saw that could be driven to. It is about 100 yards off the road. If you are not looking in the right direction you will miss it. But it is an impressive falls.

This is Laurel Falls. It was my favorite hike. From the parking area it is about 1.3 miles to the falls. On the way up we saw a Black Bear scamper down the hill. I saw a second bear leave the trail on its way up into the woods. As I have wanted to see a bear in the wild for a long time, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

And finally Mingo Falls. It is one of the tallest falls in the Appalachians. It is actually just outside the southern side of the park, in Cherokee, North Carolina. There was about a 1/2 mile hike straight up to get to these. But they were well worth the walk.


Lorie said...

As usual, great pictures! I really need to come visit soon so I can see your part of the country. In the meantime, I'm enjoying your pictures of it!

Kristin said...

Good pictures Ry!