It’s the time of year again where we are all excited to visit the Smokies!! Everything from Cades Cove to Clingmans Dome is open and covered in beautiful greenery and springtime blossoms. Although there was a devastating fire that tore through parts of the Great Smoky Mountains, you can hardly discern what was burnt from the new blossoms springing up everywhere. We were (and continue to be) very fortunate that we live in such a beautiful area filled to the brim with people willing to help those that were affected by the fires, and to those that work in the National Park without whom we would be unable to enjoy the splendor that is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
As some of you may know Clingmans Dome was due for a little TLC, and the park is currently working with an organization to give the tower a much-needed makeover. Clingmans Dome is the highest point you can get to in the Smokies, and it sits at an elevation of 6,643 feet above sea level. It’s just a short walk from the parking area at the base of the walking trail to this amazing outpost that runs along the Appalachian Trail. I think it goes without saying that the views on a clear day are spectacular, and we all recommend setting aside some time to take the family and get some great pictures!
If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies in the summer make sure you head over to recreation.gov and sign up for the firefly lottery! I know that sounds weird, but trust us! Each summer in Elmont (an area in the national park) you can watch as the fireflies come out in the evening…. But with a twist. They all light up synchronously! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and spots fill up quickly so be sure to register as early as possible. (I’ve already thrown my name into the hat this year!) If I remember correctly, the Smokies is one of the few places in the world this phenomenon takes place and shouldn’t be missed!
I know I’ve gone on and on about the park, but I’m not done yet! There are hundreds of miles of trails within the Smokies as well that are filled with history and some breathtaking scenery. If you’re into more of a challenge follow the newly renovated Alum Cave Trail to LeConte Lodge; the views alone are worth the trip, and you can buy a cup of coffee to sip on while you take in the panorama from the dining cabins back porch. On occasion, you might even run into the llamas that help restock the lodge, and the may even let you take a picture with them. If conquering the top of one of our mountains isn’t on your list then think about visiting one the many waterfalls! There are so many to choose from. Each one is different and we promise you won’t be disappointed!
I hope we gave you some good ides of places to visit in the Great Smokies National Park, and I hope you’ll share some of the amazing photographs you captured with us! There are links below that will help you plan a vacation in the Smokies, but don’t forget to leave time for us!
Visit the links below for more information regarding the Great Smoky Mountain National Park: