The Great Smoky Mountain Trails

It was a very fortunate experience to be invited to join Charlotte-based photographers for a week-long photography tour. We met in Bryson City where the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina are located.

It was a full packed week ahead, and I was so excited to be sleeping in a mountain cabin for the first time. I imagine the rustic ambiance and the smell of timber. I imagine waking up in the middle of nature. I imagined everything on my way to Charlotte.

But that excitement was gone as soon as I learned that we cannot stay in the mountain cabin that we originally booked. There was an emergency extermination going on that place because the owners saw a termite hill nearby. The termite exterminator was only available at that time due to previously scheduled appointments.

We were so disappointed that we are not staying in a cabin. But we cannot let it dampen our spirits. The cabin owners transferred us to a bed and breakfast, and suddenly, it was not that bad at all. The B&B was very homey, and they served the best coffee I had since I arrived in the US.

Now, time to talk about the Great Smoky Mountain. The Great Mountain is located in North Carolina and Tennessee.  This place is a landscape photographer’s playground because of the great wildlife and photogenic landscapes. The park is about 800 square miles with lots of trails such us the Appalachian Trail.

The Great Smokey Mountain gave us a lot of gorgeous photos. We found our perfect subject just walking the trails. It is that beautiful! But the highlight of them are the main attractions.

Our first stop was at the Clingman’s Dome. The dome is the highest part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You can go to this site through the Clingman’s Dome Road. The Observation Tower is open all-year round, but they close the road from December to March, and whenever the weather require. The best part of this view is the pine forest. We were lucky to see it unobstructed because many said that pollution could cover a significant percentage of the vista.

Our next stop was the Roaring Fork Nature Trail. Our cabin was supposed to be on this trail. This site features a flowing mountain stream surrounded by forest. It was a great feeling to be surrounded by nature. We explored the waterfalls that are accessible on the trails. Our first stop was the Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls is a single-drop waterfall and considered as the highest falls in the park. It looks its best after a long rain shower. We went here around lunchtime, so it was a bit tricky to photograph because of the sun being high up in the sky, so we waited until the late afternoon to take some shots.

We also went to the Grotto Falls. What we liked about this falls is that were able to walk behind it. It sent us back to the memories of childhood fun water rides, but so much better. We took a lot of photos here before we headed back to Rainbow Falls.

There are a lot of other things to see just exploring the trails. I think we spent a lot of time just photographing the views along the trails than touring to the major spots. I believe it’s time to let the undiscovered beauty of the trails shine this time.