WALKING UP TO LAUREL FALLS (TN)

Location:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Gatlinburg, TN


One of the falls you can't see from the comfort of your car near Gatlinburg, TN is Laurel Falls. The falls are named after the Mountain Laurel that grows all along the trail. It is probably the easiest and therefore the most popular waterfall to visit. Just 1.3 miles up a paved asphalt trail, with an elevation change of about 314 feet, which makes this an easy to moderate climb. I read that there are over 800 miles of trails in this national park and that less than 3 miles of them are paved. The trail was first paved back in the 1930's to provide easier access to Cove Mountain for fire fighting and to allow the park service to build a fire lookout tower at the top. In the 1960's the trail was reconditioned to what you see today, due to the high amount of tourist traffic climbing the trail to see the falls.

You may be wondering why I titled this post a walk and not a hike. Well my definition of a walk includes pavement of some sorts and a distance of less than five miles, coincidentally that is currently the limit to how far I'm willing to travel on foot under any circumstance. I'm working on increasing that distance though! Walking on natural surface, like a forest floor for instance, is a hike in my book. No matter how short the distance.


Before you start watching the slideshow I have to warn you. You may see pictures of my back side in several of them. So go ahead and proceed, you have been warned.




LAUREL FALLS



Right from the start we had some amazing views
Radiant reds...
...and shimmering yellows...
...with deliciously orange fall colors were all around us.
I warned you there would be pictures of my back side!
There are two things you CAN'T see in this photo.
Laurel Falls on the right and a bench to park my arse on to the left!
Our final destination Laurel Falls
I don't mind a moderate early morning walk when there is a payoff at the end so awesome as this
More fall colors on Cove Mountain above us
Time to start the trail back to the truck
Another beautiful vista view
Even more colors
I remember this part of the trail...
...the truck is right around this last corner!

HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF THIS SLIDESHOW

Option 1 - Do nothing and cycle through the photos at the predetermined speed.

Option 2 - Hover over any photo with the cursor and use the forward and reverse arrows that appear on the left and right centers to speed through the photos. Photos will still change at the predetermined speed if you wait too long. Keep your eye on the clock in the upper right hand corner.

Option 3 - Hover over any photo with the cursor and click on the pause button. You now have full control to go forward or reverse at your own speed. You can also select any of the little round buttons under the photo to navigate through the photos.

WANT TO SEE THE PHOTOS AT A LARGER SIZE?

1st - Click near the center of any photo and it will open to a larger size than what appears in the slideshow.
2nd - Click on it again and it will open to it's original full resolution size.
3rd - You will have to use your browsers back button to return to the slideshow after viewing the photo.



Until next time
TWO PEAS


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