Waterfalls In The Great Smoky Mountains

Laurel Falls in Smoky MountainsThe Great Smoky Mountains have long been a favorite vacation spot for visitors who enjoy outdoor adventures. People come to the area to walk one of the literally hundreds of trails that can be found here and take in the beauty of the site. One of the main things that outdoor enthusiasts look forward to viewing on these trips are the waterfalls. Three of the best waterfalls to visit while vacationing in the Gatlinburg and Cades Cover, TN area of the Great Smoky Mountains are Abrams Falls, Laurel Falls and Grotto Falls.

One of the best waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains is Abrams Falls. Abrams Falls, in Cades Cove, is located on a breathtaking five mile hiking trail. This trail is not for beginners, but it is well worth the trip for visitors looking to catch a glimpse of Abrams Falls 20 foot fall and deep pool.

Another fabulous fall in the Great Smoky Mountains is Laurel Falls. This fall is wonderful for families as it is on a paved trail that is easily accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers. Laurel Falls is conveniently located within minutes of Gatlinburg and showcases a breathtaking 80 foot cascade. These falls are very popular with travelers, so it is recommended that people try to come out early to miss the crowds.

Last, but certainly not least, on the list of great falls to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains is Grotto Falls. The Grotto Falls are unique in that visitors can actually stand behind the falls and get the experience of the water seeming to crash right in front of them. Grotto Falls is a quick drive from Gatlinburg and is located off the very popular Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Regardless of which one of these stunning falls the visitor decides to take in, some precautions are in order to make sure the trip is a success. Hikers will want to make sure they are wearing extremely comfortable walking shoes before heading out. In addition, travelers will want to pack things like extra clothes in case they get wet on the trails and a map to make navigating easier. It is also important to bring food and water just in case the trip takes longer then planned. Taking these things in to consideration will guarantee that the visitor has a fun and safe time visiting the Great Smoky Mountains beautiful waterfalls.

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Spotting a Black Bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Black bear cub playing on pile of woodGatlinburg, Tennessee is the perfect place to begin your quest for spotting a black bear in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This massive park is home to over 1500 bruins and the best place to see one is in Cades Cove, less than thirty miles from the heart of Gatlinburg.

Starting your bear adventure in Gatlinburg is a good idea as the community has everything you’ll need to help your search. You’ll find high quality outdoor gear, including hiking boots, daypacks and binoculars. Shop owners frequent the park themselves and can tell you which are the most likely places to see bears. Gatlinburg is a friendly town, and residents want you to enjoy your visit to their bit of paradise.

Black bears are best seen in open, valley areas throughout the park, and Cades Cove is the easiest place to spot them. There is an eleven mile, one-way road through the cove, which allows visitors to tour the area at their own pace. Despite the short distance, this can be an all-day adventure depending upon how many stops you make. There are several interpretive signs along the road as well as the park’s best collection of historic structures to tour. In addition, visitors should take advantage of the nature trails and longer hiking trails.

Although bears can be seen from the comfort of your car, your best bet is to park the vehicle and explore one of the many trails. Bears are most often observed at dawn and dusk, as they are more active in the cool of the day. Hikers who travel quietly through brushy areas are more likely to see a bear. Good places to concentrate your viewing are along stream beds, under trees and overgrown areas where the underbrush is a little thicker. Bears generally feed upon insects, roots, nuts and fish so finding spots where these foods are available will help your search.

Cades Cove is a perfect day trip from Gatlinburg. Visitors can enjoy a hearty breakfast in one of the many restaurants, purchase supplies for a picnic in the cove and then be back in time for a leisurely southern dinner. The entire Great Smoky Mountain National Park is yours to explore from Gatlinburg. Spotting a black bear will make your trip that much more memorable.

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