October 13, 2016
This time of year it is very hard to keep me at work. I often will take several “sick days” while the leaves are turning and the weather is cooler.
Even though I was “infirmed”, Emily, Alice and I headed to the Smokemont Campground on this beauteous day. There are two ways to hike the trail: 1) start at the north end of the campground and hike 1.9 miles to the Loop Trail on the Bradley Fork Trail, or 2) start on the Loop Trail on the western side of the campground and hike back on the Bradley Fork. If this sounds confusing, it is. We had to stop and ask directions to the trailhead at the Ranger’s Station. It also doesn’t help that this is a giant campground filled with tents, campers and RV’s. It was like navigating a NASCAR tailgating event.
The trail is moderately difficult from either side. From the GPS link at the bottom of the page, it was 1,417 ft. of elevation gain from the Smokemont side, and then 1,312 ft. of descending to Bradley Fork and the campground.
The highlight of the day was spending time under the foliage with my family. Only if every sick day was this fun.
*As an annotation, the pictures below were taken and placed here with no filter. I’ve had a change of heart and decided to stop using filters on this blog as well as on Instagram.
Total mileage is 5.57 miles.