Over the river and through the woods, to adventures we will go.
New Years Eve weekend, we decided that we were going to start the New Year off with an adventure. We packed up our car and headed North into the Great Smoky Mountains to visit his parents at their cabin they had rented for the weekend.
On New Years day the weather was just right for hiking: 40 degrees as the high, overcast and no breeze.
We spent the morning preparing for a long hike and then drove the hour out to Cades Cove.
Cades Cove is a nature preserve located in a valley in Townsend, Tennessee. While the drive to get there can be nauseating for some (very windy roads, so heed caution for those who get car sick), the reward of watching deer and elk bound through this valley is worth it.
The park is free to visitors, so bring a car full of your friends and a picnic and have a day of exploring planned because there is a lot to do in one day here.
We were lucky enough to spot a few deer as soon as we arrived. Sometimes you see wildlife, sometimes you don’t. So go with alternative goals in mind such as touring the old log cabins on site, and our personal favorite: hiking Abram’s Falls. After winding through the dirt road and the backed up traffic (people stop constantly to get a peak at the animals that scatter the field), we made it to our trail head.
When hiking next to water you’re definitely going to want to bundle up. The moisture in the air creates a cool humidity about the place that can chill you to the bone, so I always pack on the layers when we come out here, even in the summertime.
The trails in the Smoky Mountains are extremely beautiful.
Moss covered logs are strewn about the forest.
Finches and birds of prey call from above in the thick tree canopy.
Nature is decidedly one of my favorite places to be.
Through 2 and a half miles we hiked with intention to get to the waterfall. A relatively easy trail for those who have hiked 5 miles in a day. For those who haven’t, be sure to pack water and a snack as the trail left us (even Tucker!) winded sometimes. We finally made it to the end of the trail. The water comes pummeling down and you can see straight through the crystal clear water to the rocks below.
A healthy visual award for trooping through the woods in the cold. We couldn’t stay long as the forest gets dark early, so we grabbed our belongings and headed back up the mountain towards the car. Leaving with a smile and a tired dog, the birds slowed their chirping in favor of the night grasshoppers to take over their concerto to lure the day creatures to sleep and awake the nightly beasts.