Smoky Mountains (Tennessee, United States)


My favorite color is green and so is Nature’s and I happily shared this similarity with her during our trip to the famous Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, United States.
Driving up and down the Smokies was an experience worth remembering; miles and miles of lush green mountains with a misty blue hue hanging over it, I seriously wished that the journey never ended.
All trails and treks to the Smokies start from Gatlinburg and it is advisable to pick up a map from the visitors’ center to understand the layout of the Mountains. There are quite a few motoring trails throughout the mountain and we chose the best of all, covering both the sides of the mountains.
We started with Cades Cove. It was a 30 mile long drive from the city center and as we started our journey a pretty stream flowed by our side. Laurel creek as it is called was very obedient; it continuously gave us company till we entered the Cades Cove. On the way we halted to wet our feet in the cool mountain water and in some places visitors were busy tubing on the creek. Cades Cove turned out to be a totally lush green valley. Honestly, I was expecting it to be bit mountainous but it was miles of verdant fields and amid those fields the neat drivable pathway snaked away towards the Rich Mountain Road. With the gigantic Appalachian ranges in the horizon, the scene was truly breathtaking.



We halted a couple of times to get off the car and soak ourselves in the beauty that was truly incomparable. Cades Cove is also known for its wildlife and we did get to see quite a few white-tailed deer which are typical of that area. As we continued with our drive at one point we got caught in a traffic snarl. We had experienced this during our visit to the Canadian Rockies and we knew this was termed as the ‘wildlife’ jam, which meant there was some wild life ahead and all the cars had slowed down to see and take photos. Along the jam we came across a park ranger who said there was a baby bear sleeping on a tree branch and that was causing all the traffic congestion. When it was our turn, the baby had woken up and was not in a mood to pose for a picture. Miles later, we got to see another one and then another one. We were thrilled!
Next, we ventured out to experience the Roaring Fork Nature Trail, one of Smokies most beautiful motoring trail. The entire road was narrow and steep with sharp bends and curves. The road was flanked by a light green forest and had log cabins that were very typical of the Mountains. This part of the mountain remains closed during December to March as it becomes cold and inaccessible. Roaring Fork derived its name from a unique mountain stream but full marks went to the Rainbow Falls and the Grotto Falls. Even though I personally feel waterfalls in deciduous forests are not as breathtaking as those that tumble down hundreds of feet from steep rocks and crash into mountainous rivers, both Rainbow and Grotto falls were beautiful. We had to climb quite a steep walking trail to reach both and thanked ourselves for wearing sturdy pair of shoes and carrying drinking water.
Our trip for that day was over and we returned only to come back the next day to go around the rest of the mountains.