Spring Break Hiking Recommendations

March 11, 2013 in Hiking Trails, Tips & Recommendations

Base of Cummins Falls

Base of Cummins Falls

Spring Break is almost here! I can’t believe we’re already almost done with winter. Of course this winter turned into a wee-bit of a blur as we welcomed our new little hiker into the family in early January (we’ll post more about him later, but if you want a sneak peek you can check him out here).

But back to the topic at hand: Spring Break! Do you know where you’ll be hiking during these weeks of late March and early April? If not, let us recommend some great spots for hiking in Tennessee…

Go Chasing Waterfalls: By my count we’ve hit up at least 20 waterfalls in the Tennessee and Georgia area. Check out all of the waterfall trails that we’ve written about or take these Spring Break hiking recommendations to some of our favorite waterfall destinations:

  • Big is Beautiful.  Cummins Falls and Fall Creek Falls will both be very popular this spring, and with good reason. Fall Creek Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi and Cummins Falls is the 8th largest waterfall in Tennessee by volume, so if it’s been raining lately, you’ll be in for a roaring treat at either of these spots. But keep in mind – there will be pretty good crowds at both of these spots. 
  • Want to avoid the crowds? Then we recommend hitting up Stinging Fork FallsShort Springs Falls or Laurel Falls at Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness. Each of these trails are off the beaten path and offer incredibly rewarding views for anyone willing to make the venture.
  • Ready for a challenge? If you’re ready to shake off the winter hibernation with an invigorating hike, then head out to Virgin Falls.  This 8 mile trek is as challenging as it is beautiful.  Be sure to bring good shoes, plenty of water and your camera — you’re gonna want all of them!
Big Laurel Falls from the inside out

Big Laurel Falls – From the inside out on the way to Virgin Falls

 

 

Top Hiking Posts of 2012

January 1, 2013 in Hiking Trails

Base of Cummins Falls

Base of Cummins Falls

2012 Top Trail Reviews

So our last post was all about our favorite hikes of the year… but enough about us – it’s time to check out the hiking posts that all of you all liked best. Here’s the roundup of the most  popular hiking trail reviews from 2012.

Top Hiking Posts of 2012

  1. Alum Cave Trail on Mt. Leconte - Now on the side of Mt. LeConte, you begin to glimpse the first of many gorgeous vistas of the surrounding Smoky Mountains.
  2. Cummins Falls Trails - After crossing the river a few times and climbing over a few sets of small boulders we finally arrived at the base of the falls.
  3. Western Rim Trail at Cloudland Canyon SP - The reviews we had read of the Western Rim Trail lauded the variety of terrain and the many scenic overlooks and it lived up to the hype.
  4. Abrams Falls at Smoky Mountain National Park - While the rest of the trail provides some idyllic scenes, the main event comes with the arrival to Abrams Falls. While Abrams Fall is only 20′ tall, the volume of the falls is tremendous.
  5. Sky Pond and Glass Lake Trail - The greatest degree of difficulty comes during the scramble up the side of Timberline Falls to the mini-plateau above that houses Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. This portion was probably about 50′ of maneuvering up a crevasse in the mountain side.

2012 Top Trails

December 30, 2012 in Hiking Trails

Glass Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

Glass Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

2012 Top Trails

Who doesn’t love a year-end recap? This year’s hikes took us farther and higher than ever before and gave us new challenges that wore us out, but gave us a great sense of pride. Here’s a recap of our favorite hikes of 2012 – not surprisingly the bulk of them came from our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, but there were also a few faves from Tennessee…

Favorite Trails of 2012

  1. Sky Pond and Glass Lake Trail - Once atop the waterfall climb, you’re greeted by a mini-valley of sorts that isn’t visible from the trail below. In just a few steps you’re at the edge of the Lake of Glass, another spot that offers stunning views.
  2. Alum Cave Trail on Mt. Leconte - With an elevation change just shy of 3,000′ in 5.5 miles (one way), this trail left us worn out and weary, but with a great sense of accomplishment. The difficulty of this trail is not just the distance, but the elevation change and occasionally tricky footing.
  3. Grays Peak - Nothing beats the view from the summit of a mountain… especially one that provides so many sweeping panoramic scenes…
  4. Emerald Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park - The steep vertical cliffs of the surrounding mountains and huge boulders that surround the lakeside are striking against the clear waters of Emerald Lake.
  5. Cummins Falls Trails - As the state’s 8th largest waterfall by volume, Cummins Falls is a dramatic and inspiring sight. While the overlook provides a decent view of the falls, it pales in comparison to the view from the base.

Top Posts of 2012

  1. Alum Cave Trail on Mt. Leconte
  2. Cummins Falls Trails
  3. Western Rim Trail at Cloudland Canyon SP
  4. Abrams Falls at Smoky Mountain National Park
  5. Sky Pond and Glass Lake Trail

 

3 Hikes for Thanksgiving Weekend

November 21, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Thanksgiving Hiking Hounds

Thanksgiving is for the dogs.

My personal favorite holiday is almost upon us (which means I’ve got to get to cookin’…). We hope you all enjoy a great Thanksgiving with family, friends and full bellies! Among dozens of other things, we’re thankful for the opportunity to get outdoors and share our stories with all of you. Thank you for your ongoing support!

If you’re looking for a good alternative to the frenzy of Black Friday shopping (ugh!), here’s our recommendations trails to hit up after you’ve done your best to conquer the Thanksgiving feast.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

3 Hikes for Labor Day Weekend

August 30, 2012 in Tips & Recommendations

Top Hikes for Labor Day

smoky mountain vista from mt leconte

Smoky Mountain vista from Mt. LeConte

The long, hot summer is coming to a close and Labor Day weekend is upon us.  If you’re wanting to get out and enjoy the 3 day weekend on the trails, check out our most popular hikes from this summer: