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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newfound Gap Road in mist

Newfound Gap Road

Newfound Gap Road runs from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, North Carolina; aka US 441. Numerous trailheads and scenic overlooks abound on this scenic stretch of highway; including, but not limited to
Chimney Rocks, Alum Cave Bluffs, Cove Hardwoods, and Appalachian Trails; some nice overlooks include Carlos Campbell, Chimney Rocks, Morton's Overlook, and of course Clingman's Dome, accessible after a 7 mile drive off of Newfound Gap Road. This particular view was taken fairly close to Chimney Rocks Overlook; mist had risen into the valleys all the way to the top of the mountain.I will be posting several more images and alot more details of this area in the future.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Springtime at Little River

Between Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Townsend, TN, inside Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Little River Road follows the most scenic stretch of Little River inside the park. There are several pulloffs along this road  to get out and access the river; besides being beautiful, this area is great for flyfishing too. A great place for a picnic is at Metcalf Bottoms ; also; Elkmont Campground is nearby too. I will be posting more photos from this area in the future.

Little River in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

this a a shot of fall color on Little River near Elkmont in  Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oconaluftee Valley Overlook

This view is from the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. (description)
Newfound Gap Road (US 441) runs from Gatlinburg, Tennessee up and over the crest of the Smoky Mountains and then down to Cherokee, North Carolina. From Gatlinburg to the highest point, the road gains around 3500' of elevation; watch how the trees change from lowland hardwoods to high altitude firs and back again as you descend to Cherokee. You actually leave Great Smoky Mountain National Park just before reaching Cherokee; Cherokee, North Carolina is actually on a large Indian reservation and is a great area to explore. The view shown above is from the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook just below Newfound Gap; I arrived early hoping for a nice sunrise view; instead, the mountain was locked in thick mist with 30' visibility. After almost an hour, I was about to leave when the mist began to thin out a bit; I got several views down the valley. There are numerous scenic stops along Newfound Gap Road, I will be posting several more about these   areas in the future. One other view from below Newfound Gap is below.http://paulmartinimage.blogspot.com/2011/12/sunset-in-great-smoky-mountains.html
this is another view from Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) taken just below Newfound Gap in North Carolina.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

This is the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier area of Great Smoky Mountain NP. This area can be found by driving east of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on U.S. 321 about 6 miles and turning on Greenbrier Road which follows the Middle Prong all the way in; at 3 miles the road forks; the L fork follows Middle Prong to the Ramsey Cascades trailhead; the R fork takes you to the Porter's Creek trailhead. The road turns to gravel well before this fork.another view of the road is below:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This is a view of fall color along Greenbrier Road on the Way to Ramsay Cascades trailhead.Another view of this road is here:
This is Greenbrier Road to Ramsay Cascades in Great Smoky Mountain NP.

Monday, November 14, 2011

White Rock Mountain in mist

this is the western rim of White Rock Mountain in mist; fog later enveloped the entire mountain.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

White Rock Mountain

White  Rock Mountain in northwestern Arkansas is probably known more for far-reaching vistas than anything else; on this morning however, the changing weather brought fast moving mist into the valleys; clouds were already obscuring the tops of mountains all around; within an hour; mist had covered the valley and eventually the whole mountain was enclosed in a thick fog. This view was taken from the western rim of the mountain. I will post more views in the future and give directions and more details of the trails on this spot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roaring Fork River in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

I visited Great Smoky Mountain National Park for the second time in late October; I had hoped to see the leaves at their peak color; I wasn't disappointed. Actually, I don't think you can see ALL the leaves at peak color at the same time;  differences in elevation, shading, rainfall, etc. make it tough to pinpoint. The following  view was taken at Roaring Fork Nature Motor Trail just outside Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It's fairly easy to access this area; take traffic light 8 from the main drag in Gatlinburg and follow it up; bear right at the intersection that takes you into the Park; you will pass several stops include the Noah Ogle farmstead and Rainbow Falls trailhead; eventually, you turn onto the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and follow it around and back down into Gatlinburg. It is a narrow, twisting, one-way road; you might be able to drive a big  RV up it but I'm not sure. Watch your driving carefully; in spots the road is a foot or two from a steep drop-off; there is no guardrail and a vehicle could roll down a 40-50' incline if you are paying more attention to the scenery than the road! This whole area is a must-see if you are in the Gatlinburg area....  Image 1  Image 2 Image 3 Image 4

Autumn color at Roaring Fork in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

this is a view of Roaring Fork River  in Great Smoky Mountain Natonal Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hiking at Big Creek in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

I did a little hiking and backpacking at Big Creek in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the spring; I was able to secure a campsite at the small compground. This is a beautiful, lush area; it is also well populated with bears.  You get there by taking the Waterville exit off I-40; cross the Pigeon River; stay left and follow the road past a power plant and Mountain Mama's to an intersection; keep straight for less than a mile to get to the parking lot/campground. The trail follows an old logging grade; it is wide and has a moderate, constant grade for the majority of the hike. Big Creek has some of the most beautiful water in the Park, the trout fishing is highly touted, and in heavy flow, the creek has class IV+ whitewater. All in all, a great place to spend some time.