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Monday, July 25, 2011

Laurel Falls in Great Smoky National Park

     in April, i hiked to Laurel Falls in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. this is an ultra-popular hike; i arrived well before sunup and was the first at the trailhead; but a steady stream of people quickly followed. the hike is 1.3 miles one way to the falls; the trail, which is actually paved to the falls, continues on to the summit of Cove Mountain where there is an old fire tower. the hike is fairly moderate, the grade is continuous but not unbearable. the trailhead is a few miles out of Gatlinburg, TN; head west from Sugarlands Visitor Center on Little River Road and the parking area will be on your right.

Laurel Falls in Great Smoky National Park

this is Laurel Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  next

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Liles Falls in Upper Buffalo River Wilderness; near Jasper, Arkansas

     Liles Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness a few miles out of Jasper, Arkansas. the falls can be accessed off of Highway 7 by turning onto the Erbie campground road; a somewhat rough but solid gravel road you follow for 3 or 4 miles until you cross a small stream; park on the right. you just follow  the stream down to some cascades then to Liles Falls, crossing over another trail on the way. the trail down below Liles Falls is narrow and treacherous; in wet weather it would be a good spot to take a fall; so hikers should be ultra cautious on this little path.  some photos of this area are below:  image 1

cascade above Liles Falls


cascade above Liles Falls

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Liles Falls in Upper Buffalo River Wilderness; near Jasper, Arkansas

this is Liles Falls in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness; next:

Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountain National Park; North Carolina

this is Big Creek in Great Smoky MountainsNational Park. another view is here:

Big Creek in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

i visited Great Smoky Mountain National Park for the first time in late April for some hiking & photography. i was able to hike the Big Creek trail to Mouse Creek Falls; i will be posting shots from there and other spots along the trail in the future. i stayed at the very pretty/tiny Big Creek campground; i got in at nightfall from the hike;a ranger told me that a bear had been "removed" the night before for ripping a tent apart; no one was inside that tent, thankfully, and i had no unwelcome visitors in my tent either that night. all in all, a highly recommended spot;some of the most gorgeous blue/green water in the park; the campground is kinda in the middle of nowhere, although just off the freeway;no stores really close other than Mountain Mama's(seasonal);get there early to reserve a campsite. one photo from the hike is posted below: