Thursday, December 28, 2006

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Reopens Newfound Gap Road (US 441)

Drivers can now use the popular Newfound Gap Road (US 441) that runs through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park from North Carolina to Tennessee without 4 wheel drive or snow chains restrictions.

It is strongly advised that drivers still remain extremely cautious especially on the Tennessee side and in shadier areas as there are still some icy spots on the road which should melt by later today.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Road closure due to Ice in the Smoky Mountain National Park

Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) which runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has just been closed by park officials for the night.

Too many areas of the road started freezing again make driving on this major park road hazardous. Park officials hope to reopen the road weather permitting by 9:00 tomorrow but have advised us that there may be restrictions again allowing only vehicles with 4 wheel-drive or tire chains when the road reopens.

Newfound Gap Road opens to 4 wheel drive vehicles

The Great Smoky Mountains National Parks major thoroughfare Newfound Gap Road has just been opened between Cherokee North Carolina and Gatlinburg Tennessee - but only to 4 wheel drive vehicles or vehicles with tire chains.

Yesterday's stormy weather closed the road to all traffic but as long as the Smokies weather permits and the snow and ice on the road keep melting Newfound Gap Road (441) will remain open.

Drivers are cautioned that there are still some icy stretches on the Tennessee side of the road mostly in shaded areas.

Before driving late in the day or this evening you may wish to call the Great Smoky Mountains National Park automated information telephone number at (865) 436-1200 as the road may close again as lower temperatures may cause further freezing and hazardous conditions even for vehicles that are driving with snow chains or 4 wheel drive.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2 horseback trails still closed in the Smoky Mountain National Park

A strong windstorm in October closed most of the roads, hiking trails and horseback riding trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The roads were all opened rather quickly as well as the hiking trails but 2 trails are still closed to horseback riding.

Enough of the 2 closed trails are still damaged from uprooted tress that riding horses on these trails would pose a hazard to riders so the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail and the Gregory Bald Trail from campsite #13 to Parsons Branch Road in the Cades Cove area of the National Park remain closed and will hopefully be able to reopen some time in the spring.

Grotto Falls Trail Closed in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Hazardous conditions caused by hillside erosion prompted the national park service to close the Popular Grotto Falls hiking trail in the Roaring Fork area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park near Gatlinburg Tennessee.

The hillside above the trail has been made unstable due to 3 large hemlock trees that fell down a steep slope by the trail. Even though the trees have been removed by the national parks trail crew, rock and mud will continue to slide down causing an unsafe condition for hikers.

The normal freeze and thaw cycle and rain will further loosen the rock and losses vegetation which is expected to fall before the hiking trail is reopened hopefully sometime in the spring of 2007. Since these trees originally kept the hillside reinforced, the National park service has to now let nature take its course.

Grotto Falls Trail Closed in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The actual slide area pictured above (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service) closure takes place approximately 1/4 mile from the trailhead which is located right next to the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. The closure affects a 1.3 mile section of the Trillium Gap Trail between the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Grotto Falls.

Hikers who come from Cherokee Orchard Road will still be able to trek for a little less than 2-1/2 miles before they reach the closure which will keep hikers form reaching Mt. LeConte from the Trillium Gap Trail. Hikers have a choice of 4 other trails such as Alum Cave that will take them to the summit of Mount Le Conte.

Snow Closes National Park Newfound Gap Road today

A mess rainy and snow mixture in the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountain National Park made for dangerous traveling and prompted a road closure on Newfound Gap Road (US 441) a major through road.

The rangers made decision at 10:00 am this morning to close the roads as the conditions are worsening. What started out a rain became slush and then eventually icy conditions on the road as the temperatures dropped throughout the national park.

Sand trucks were at first effective in the Smoky Mountain National Park but with 30 mph plus wind gusts and heavy snow, the park service realized that it wasn't going to get any better so they closed the road.

An effort is on right now with the sand trucks trying to help cars already on the roads to get down the mountains safely and help them out of the Smoky Mountain National Park.

While sudden extreme blizzards are rare in the Smoky Mountain National Park, it is always best to check the local Smoky Mountain Weather this time of year before venturing into high altitudes.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Merry Christmas from Your Smokies

One crisp morning last January a light snow started falling in Gatlinburg before dawn broke. I walked out on the deck of my cabin near the Roaring Fork and decided to hike up to Mount Le Conte in the fresh snow.

I bundled up and drove to the Roaring Fork motor trail expecting to park near the Rainbow Falls parking area, but enough snow feel that the gates were closed. The road ahead of me was dusted with snow and besides foot prints from white tail deer and small animals the snow was pristine.

I grabbed my camera and hiking poles and headed up hill through the virgin snow. The peace and beauty were over whelming. Every few minutes I could hear the sound of snow falling from the rhododendron leaves because it piled to high for them to hold another single flake.

I reached the trailhead for Rainbow falls which would take me past the falls all the way to Le Conte. The snow was already past my ankles but I knew this hike would be worth the effort. Hiking parallel to the creek which was to my right I kept stopping to catch my breath - not from exertion but just the sheer beauty of the Smokies in winter.

The roar of the ice cold creek in the ravine was strong, but not so much that I couldn't hear the deer to my left bolt into the woods in a flash - too fast for me to take a picture but long enough for me to enjoy. I turned to continue up the trail and saw some ferns peeking through some snow in an area where some large pine tress sheltered them from the brunt of the snow.

Even though it was mid January all I could think was Christmas and click - here it is!

Christmas in the Smokies

Hundreds of pictures that day - some spectacular - some inspirational - this one, simple and plain speaks to me about Christmas and peace.

Wishing a very Merry Christmas with a happy and healthy New Year to all of our visitors, customers, sales persons and vendors. I could not have the best job in the world without each and every one of you. May all of you find the peace and joy in the Smokies that I have.

Christopher Hibbard - President of Your Smokies

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2 day Cades Cove Loop partial closure in the National Park

Due to ongoing efforts by the park department to eradicate the exotic Hemlock Woolly Adelgid from infested hemlock trees, the Cades Cove loop road will be partially closed to bike and vehicular traffic from November 28th through November 29th 2006 – weather permitting.

Fortunately the closure will not shut down the entire loop on Wednesday the 29th and this interruption is after the Thanksgiving peak traffic expected in the 11 mile Cades cove loop. On Wednesday only the far western end of the loop will be closed so vehicles and bikes must exit the back end of the loop at the Hyatt Lane bypass. Those looking to hike the Cooper Road trail, Abrams Falls trail, Rabbit Creek trail, Wet Bottom Trails, and Gregory Ridge trailhead must walk to the trailhead, same if you wish to visit the Cable Mill area.

If the weather conditions in the Smoky Mountain National Park do not permit spraying due to heavy rain or freezing temperatures the closure will be rescheduled. I have also been advised that if all goes well that the road may be reopened during the latter part of November 29th. The Cades Cove Visitor Center will be closed on both the 28th and the 29th, but the restroom facilities will remain open. You may call the national park at (865) 436-1200 to find out the days status of the road closure.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park with have forestry technicians spray infected hemlock tress in Cades Cove with a soap/oil solution sprayed from large truck-mounted units that should help control this pest. According to Tom Remaley, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Project Coordinator "This is one of three treatment methods that we employ throughout the Park. The hemlock trees that have been treated along the Loop Road over the past several years appear to be strong and healthy. Just beyond the reach of the roadside spraying equipment, there is a noticeable decline of hemlock trees showing signs of branch mortality, twig dieback, and foliage discoloration."

spray head

This is not the only way the national park service employs to control the pesky Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. The park service also uses systemic insecticides and biocontrol insects in an effort to eradicate the pest which was discovered in the Smokies in 2002.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Sugarlands Visitor Center comes alive December 6th with a celebration.

A special event sponsored by Discover Life in America Inc will honor those have participated for the past 10 years in the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory.

Reservations are required for this event which will pay homage to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff, scientists, volunteers, and educators who have helped survey all species of plant and animal life in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Because of the immense bio diversity of the park all of the hard work done, the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) has been able to find more than 650 new species in the National Park that have been previously unidentified to science!

This monumental event will take place from 6 to 8 pm and will include such entertainment as live Celtic tunes on banjo, fiddles, and guitar performed by the Mumbillies band, and stories being told by renowned storyteller Charles Maynard in the Sugarlands Visitor Center Theater. Expect some fine food from the Walters State Rel Maples Institute for Culinary Arts.

Want to join us? Contact Jeanie Hilten at 865/430-4752 by December 4 to reserve your spot. A $10 donation is suggested to help support the ATBI project, but please give what you can. Please send your donation to:

Discover Life in America
314 Cherokee Orchard Road,
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738

I would also like to extend a special thanks to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona for their generous donations.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Visitor Center, Camping, Picnicking and Road Closures Winter Schedule for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Winter in the Smoky Mountains National Park means far fewer visitors to the park and can bring on rough road conditions due to the weather. Be advised that while there is snow on the ground roads may be closed to all traffic or may be only open to vehicles with 4 wheel drive or chains.

Weather permitting the visitor centers will remain open during the winter in the National Park. The following are the visitor centers that will be open as well as their winter schedule hours:

  • Cades Cove Visitor Center 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Sugarlands Visitor Center 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Oconaluftee Visitor Center 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Driving the mountains roads of the Smoky Mountain National Park can be challenging in good weather and dangerous in snow or ice.

Parson Branch Road is still closed due to pervious storm damage and both Balsam Mountain/Heintooga and Roundbottom Roads are already closed for the winter season.

The next scheduled closures are:

  • November 10: Rich Mountain Road
  • November 13: Straight Fork Road
  • December 1: Clingmans Dome Road and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

All other roads including the Cades Cove Loop Road, Cosby Road, Greenbrier Road, Upper Tremont, Little Greenbrier, Forge Creek, Lakeview Drive, Newfound Gap (U.S. 441), Little River, The Gatlinburg Bypass and Foothills Parkway will remain open during the winter as long as weather and safe driving conditions permit.

As of November 22nd the LeConte Lodge will be closed and the campgrounds in Elkmont will close December 1st.

The Cades Cove campgrounds and the Smokemont campgrounds will remain open all winter long but all of the other remain campgrounds will be closed for the winter season.

Well you want have to swat flies when picnicking in the winter but you can enjoy a family picknic in the following open picnic areas:

  • Big Creek
  • Cades Cove
  • Chimney Tops
  • Cosby
  • Deep Creek
  • Greenbrier
  • Metcalf Bottoms

Enjoy all the peace and solitude the Smokies have to offer all winter long!

Bike Rental and Equestrian Winter Schedule for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place to bike, camp, hike and go horseback riding in during the winter but be advised that not all facilities will be open or are on a limited schedule.

My favorite month to enjoy the national park is May, but I love the peace and solitude of hiking in the park in the winter. Although some of the wildlife you will see in the spring, summer and fall such as bear is almost impossible to see in the winter, you will have greater visibility in the woods and less of the Smokies natural haze that surrounds the mountains which can make for spectacular views.

Biking in Cades Cove is popular year round and bikes can be rented in the Cades Cove campground store. The Cades Cove campgrounds store will close for the winter starting November 6th. Unfortunately there are no other facilities in the park which rent bikes so if you wish to bike the Cades Cove loop in the next few months you will have to bring your own bicycles. The vending machines outside the store will remain stocked and in service throughout the winter.

Renting and riding horses in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a vacation highlight for many of those who visit the park, but the stable where you can rent the horses close for the winter.

The Smokemont Riding Stable is already closed and on November 6th the Cades Cove Riding Stables will close for the season. Horse can still be rented in both the Sugarlands Horseback Riding Stables and the Smoky Mountain Riding Stables until November 27th.

If you are planning to bring your own horse and camp in the park, do so before November 13th as all five of the camp ground that accept horses Big Creek, Tow String, Round Bottom, Cataloochee, and Anthony Creek will be closed by then.

If you plan on riding the trails, be sure to check with the ranger station before doing so as some of the trails are still impacted by last months wind storm and although these trails are safe for hiking, they are still dangerous for horseback riders.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Expanded Sevierville visitor center is celebrated

Officials took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony in Sevierville Tennessee to open the newly expanded Sevierville Visitor center which also includes a Great Smoky Mountains Association gift shop and new offices for the Friends of the Smokies.

Even though the Great Smoky Mountains Association gift shop which is located near I40 at 3099 Winfield Dunn Parkway has been already open for months, they have waited until now to officially open the joint venture which should benefit all that are involved.

In order to improve the visibility of the visitor center, the visitor center plans to increase its marketing via billboard ads and to remove a hill that block the center form view of motorists.

We encourage everyone to check out the center and help support these great organizations. Both the visitor center and the store are open from Monday through Friday form 8:30 to 5:30, Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 and Sunday form 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Smoky Mountain Park Rangers guided hike in North Carolina

Don't miss this limited opportunity to go hiking Sunday, November 5th with a national park ranger so you can enjoy the fall weather and learn about the history of the Hazel Creek area on the north shore of Fontana Lake in North Carolina.

Because of limited funding, guided hikes by rangers are not common and this hike is also limited 20 participants because of the limited seating on the pontoon boat that will take you from the Fontana Village Resort Marina to the trail.

The entire round trip hike on the hazel creek trail is 4 miles and hiking shoes or boots are suggested as the trail ranges from easy to moderate. Hikers will enjoy about 4 hours on the trail which will include visiting what was the former sawmill town of Procter which was built in the early 1900s and even be able to see historic maps and photos of the area.

After lunch which will be eaten on the trail, anyone who wishes to can visit the historic Proctor Family Cemetery.

Hikers should brink plenty of water and pack food as there are no facilities or food available on the hazel Creek trail. The Fontana Village Resort Marian does have restrooms and you will find snacks and drinks for sale. Jackets and rain gear are also strongly recommended.

Hikers under be at least 13 years old and reservations are required by calling the Great Smoky Mountains Association at (865) 436-7318, extension 22 next Monday October 30th from 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. A credit card is required at the time of the reservation to pay the $15 per person fee for this hike through the Smoky Mountains.

For those taking the hike, they should be promptly at the Ranger station by 9:00 am. The actual hike will take approximately 4 hours and the returning boat will get you back to the marina by 3:30 pm.

Directions to the Fontana Village Resort Marina: located near Fontana Dam just off Highway 28, 33 miles west of Bryson City, N.C. and 95 miles west of Asheville, N.C. Turn right off of Highway 28 at the sign for Fontana Dam then follow the signs for the boat dock.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Salvage Work to Begin in Elkmont

The Wonderland Hotel in the historic area of Elkmont in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park as about to undergo a $65,419 Salvage job on November 1st to preserve all of the historically treasures that remain in the ruins of the hotel.

The Wonderland Hotel collapsed in fall 2005 and many other buildings remain in a similar state of disrepair in the Elkmont area of the Smoky Mountain National Park. In order to salvage any building materials and fixtures that are historically significantly such as Doors, windows, bathtubs, hardware such as door handles, etc, the entire hotel much be carefully dismantled.

The company brought in do the salvage work is the Moran Construction of Abingdon Virginia who will separate the historical material for preservation have the non significant material removed for disposal outside of the national park. Material that is going to be preserved will be moved to at the Department of Energy's Office of Scientificant and Technical Information Storage facility in Oak whois is where the Park's archival storage area is located.

The work slated to start November 1st and to be finished by December 8th 2006 should have no impact on the campgrounds, hiking trails and any of the other public use areas in Elkmont. Since the work is to be performed mostly by hand, excessive noise should not be a significant issue but in the interest of public safety, the hotel are will be closed off to visitors while the work is in progress.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is conducting a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in regard to the remains buildings which should be published by March of 2007.

The more than 70 remaining buildings left in the Elkmont district of the National Park have been a controversy for quite some time. While the park services job is to preserve the natural environment as well a preserve historical artifacts, many of the campers, hikers and local residents whom I have personally interviewed did not feel as though many of the buildings did not have any real historical significance.

The Ogles Cabin in winter in the Roaring Fork
Ogles hsitorical cabin in Roaring Fork TN

When compared to historical significance of the buildings located in Cades Cove, Roaring Fork, and Cataloochee, many of the buildings in Elkmont - especially those that are a crumbling or a pile of rubble - can't measure up the workmanship, historical significance or beauty. When as I felt tat the buildings in Elkmont held limited value, I do realize that the park is not just for the enjoyment and recreational use for the next 20, 50 or even hundreds of years but let's hope for hundreds of years. Even buildings that may not be as historically significant now will be in hundreds of years.

The real issue is money. The park service needs all the help it can get and even though great organizations such as Friends of the Smokies raise money and do volunteer work for the park, there is just not enough money and hands to do everything that needs to be done.

In my opinion if it is a question of persevering animal and plant habits or saving dilapidated poorly built cookie cutter summer cottages - the cottages go.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cades Cove Riding Stable is open (again)

After a brief problem with insurance, you can now rent horses again from the Cades Cove riding stables in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Without any warning or ceremony last week the stables were shut down and so were the hayrides which are run from the same concession in Cades Cove section of the national Park.

Plenty of people I spoke to in Cades Cove were upset some complaining that now they had to drive quite a distance to another section in the park that does have stables that would be open only to face longer than regular lines and why didn’t someone tell them and why were there not signs around the park?

Friday, August 18, 2006

My temp office for the next 2 weeks.

For at least the next 2 weeks my office is wherever in the Smoky Mountain National Park and sounding areas where my laptop is.

For the depth of summer the weather is outstanding. I don’t believe it has broken the upper 80s in the park – far lower in upper elevations. While it has rained here in the past few weeks, any showers were gone quite quickly.

My only disappointment this week so far is the typical Smokies haze is very pronounced so long shots of the landscapes will not be crisp and clear.

The park is far form crowded. Some of the Campgrounds in the Smoky Mountain National Park are as low as 10% occupancy so campers have plenty of room and privacy with other campers not being right on top of them.

Of special note is that the Cades Cove Riding Stablesis closed until further notice due to insurance issues and there is no idea when the Cades Cove riding stables will reopen.

Other Cades Cove News is that the Parsons Branch road still has no opening date according to the national park service. Repairs have yet to begin and a park volunteer told me that the project is still out for bid.

The Elijah Oliver Cabin and surrounding area is still closed waiting for the restoration to repair erosion damage to settle in and take hold. Expect and opening date of spring of 2007.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Elk in the Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the most thrilling times I had in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park this year was spent tracking North American Elk inside the park.

It as a warm afternoon in May and the Cataloochee section of the park was almost empty. A few campers were hanging around the campsite and some people on bikes were riding around the almost deserted section of park. This was a perfect time to observe North American Elk in the great Smoky Mountain National Park.

52 Elk over the past few years have been released back into the wilds of the national park in an experiment to reintroduce a species that has vanished from the park for more than a hundred years.

I first did my reconnaissance with maps and knowing the pattern of behavior Elk followed I planed where I was going to be able to observe them in the dense woods as well as when and where they should hopefully appear in the fields.

I was excited when unloading my vehicle of the camera equipment and changing into my hiking attire. This was going to be the first Elk I was to see east of the Mississippi. Sure I have seen plenty of elk in Wyoming, Montana and Canada but to see Elk back in the Smokies had me all excited.

Elk can be very dangerous creatures to come across in the wild and they have been known to attack humans without provocation. I knew I had to keep my distance as well as be quiet so as not to spook them. As with any animal in the national park system on must disturb or annoy the animals that inhabit the park or face stuff fines.

My plan was to go up the side of a small mountain where I would have a view of downhill of a wide are including a large creek. As the day would progress I would work my way down to the edge of a large field where the elk have been known to gather at dusk.

The footing on the trail was poor as rain from the previous day tuned the lower section of the trail to a sloppy mud pie. I was sure glad I had high watertight boots on.

I knew I was on the right track for 2 reasons, plenty of large hoof prints in the mud and finally some elk droppings.

While bending down to photograph the droppings there was a large movement 30 yard to my right. I froze. Slowly I turned my head to see 2 female deer (Doe) waking parallel to the trail and me. A crow called out and they both took up going up hill ahead of me. I shot a picture of the droppings and continued uphill on the trail.

In about 45 minutes I found what I felt would be a good spot and set up my tripod and sat down. Now it was time to wait and soak in the woods.

Its funny as one becomes more and more still in such a wonderful place how alive you feel and you can hear the sounds and songs of nature all around you. Just watching a tree you start to see squirrels, birds and insects you might not have first noticed. Blooms from the trees fluttered softly to the ground almost giving the illusion of snow on a warm spring afternoon.

I spotted the 2 elk cow first and then the bull. Walking and feeding on braches they moved slowly farther down hill and away from me in between tress and bushes refusing to let me take a nice clear picture of them.

Looking at my watch and seeing that it was already after 7 pm, I decided to pack up my gear and head down to the large field where I thought they would be heading.

I wanted to get a shot of them exiting the woods into the field but that would require that I moved quickly and get in fornt of them and beat them to the field. Even though this was the best shot, I felt as though moving too fast would spook or disturb them so I walked slowly and softly instead.

By now the valleys were getting darker and I was thankful for the long sleeves as a few gnats decided I would be nice for a late supper. Insects are generally not a big problem in the park and when I got away from the wet area by the edge of the field I was left alone.

I know took my camo tarp and made a blind and set up my tripod on the edge of the woods and scanned the tree line. No Elk to be found so it was time to wait again.

Did the elk beat me to the fields and already left? Did I make too much noise coming down the trail and scare them? What if they don’t come into the field, when can I come back to find them. As all these thoughts race through my mind deer in the filed looked up and slowly took off to the together side of the filed and I started the hear loud deliberate noise in the woods behind me.

The Elk walked less then 50 feet away from me allowing me to take some really nice shots where you can clearly see how they were shedding their winter coat and that their antlers had the spring velvet on them.

Slowly they keep moving giving me almost and hour to watch the bull elk with his harem.

Male bull Elk in the Smoky Mountains

Your Smokies has some interesting information and pictures I took of the Elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Be careful if you wish to see Eklk because if humans and Elks in the national park do not get along, the experiment will fail and these mighty creatures will be removed so it is up to all of us to protect the Elk by eliminating any possible

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cades Cove driving tour in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove has always touched me since the first time I visited this valley in my favorite national park more than 40 years ago

I had experienced the Cades Cove loop and the surrounding area countless times by car, by truck, on horseback, by bicycle, and on foot, from sunup to sundown and all throughout the night. I know every twist and turn on this road which is a wonderful ride through natural beauty and pioneer history.

Cades Cove was where I got to see my first black bear outside of a zoo, and where for the first time, I was able to observe a wild tom turkey strut his stuff to seduce his soon to be mate.

From frost filled mornings with deer jumping through freshly fallen snow, to lazy hot summer afternoons where the incessant chatter of bugs becomes almost deafening, the beauty and charm of Cades Cove constantly reminds me that the world is in fact filled with the beauty and wonder of nature - you just have to experience it.

Over the years I have taken dozens of my friends and family on excursions in this area of the national park. When I knew that I was going to write this page, rather than pull pictures from my personal archives of thousands of Cades Cove photographs and write from my memory about countless tours on the Cades Cove loop, I wanted to experience the driving tour again as it was my first time taking the tour.

Walking the entire 11 mile Cades Cove loop is not for everyone, especially when lugging heavy equipment as I did.

I have taken my experiences form this and past walks as well as my research about the Cades Cove area and posted them on the Cade Cove Driving tour by Your Smokies.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Welcome to Your Smokies News and Blog

Welcome to the news and blog section of Your Smokies - the ultimate Tennessee and North Carolina Smoky Mountains Information web site.

This exciting web project has been in the works for quite some time and well worth the wait. For example the Your Smokies photo archive already has thousands of images of the great Smoky Mountain National Park and the surrounding areas.

After years of exploring the Smokies by car, horseback, bicycle, motorcycle and by foot have we have uncovered secrets well worth sharing.

We want to make the Your Smokies Smoky Mountain News and information site a place where you the reader can share your Smoky Mountain experiences, but will be requiring people who wish to post here to register for free to reduce Spam.

If you love the NC and TN Smokies as much as we do you will love Your Smokies!