Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A quick jaunt into the Smokies

We live in a beautiful part of the country and it has been a lot of fun exploring the many parks and preserves located within about a two-hour drive of our home. So far, some of our favorites include Cloudland Canyon State Park in nearby Georgia as well as Frozen Head State Park and Falls Creek Falls here in Tennessee.

Yesterday we took a short trek up the drainage of Abrams Creek which is located in a wild and remote corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Reputedly the most heavily visited national park in the U.S., it would have been hard to glean that impression from where we had chosen to hike.

After setting out from the Abrams Creek campground, under unbelievably tall hemlocks, we followed the densely forested Cooper Road to the Little Bottom Trail which led us up and over a very steep ridge and then down into the valley of Abrams Creek. During our entire time on the trail we saw no one else, not even old footprints. I took a lengthy dip in the cool refreshing waters until I couldn't stand all of the nips and bites I was getting from the multitudes of fish that inhabit this stream. My wife said it proved that at least the water was very clean.

Enveloped in the depths of the Smokies

The Smokies are a real treat for those who love their nature wild and omnipresent. I can't wait until we set out again to explore this magnificent mountain range in the Fall when the leaves will be turning beautiful colors and SEC football will be blaring from the radio in our campsite. I'm sure my wife can't wait for that either.

Tall hemlocks along the Cooper Road

Steep uphill grade

View of the Abrams Creek drainage

Little Bottom Trail

Abrams Creek

Back down the ridge

Vonore, Tennessee

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