May 28, 2017
“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
When I was very young, I heard people talk about the Smoky’s in terms that is usually reserved for far-distant destinations of allure and mystery. When I visited the park, even at five-years-old, I remember the color of the plants, the rumbling rivers and countless trees. It was a grand destination. From the hordes of tourists to the A.T. thru-hiker, the Smoky’s is shrouded in awe.
My goal was lofty, hike up Big Creek Trail, Swallow Fork Trail, take a left on Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail, then down Baxter Creek Trail to the campground. During the hike, the Smoky’s did not disappoint. It was hot, it was cold, it was sunny, and it rained like mad. I saw waterfalls, lush foliage, rushing creeks, fog, a fire tower encased in clouds. It’s a veritable rainforest of climates.
My favorite part of the Park is the first mile of the Baxter Creek Trail. I’ve never witnessed such foliage in all my days.
Total mileage is 18.1 miles.