Big Creek Trail, Swallow Fork Trail, Baxter Creek Trail

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 … More Big Creek Trail, Swallow Fork Trail, Baxter Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail

February 4-5, 2017 “It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.” -Horace Kephart I’m often amazed at the reluctance of some to go camping. “What about _______ [insert any deathly fear, i.e. bears, snakes]?” they will ask.  “Aren’t you … More Porters Creek Trail

Cooper Creek Trail

November 27, 2016 Hiking all the trails for a particular area can take one to obscure places they would normally not even think about visiting. Cooper Creek Trail is located on a sliver of North Carolina, abutted on three sides by different jurisdictions: the Cherokee Indian Reservation, N.C., and the National Park. The trail is … More Cooper Creek Trail

Old Black, Tricorner Knob, Mark’s Knob, Mt. Guyot

November 5-6, 2016 There are forty peaks over 6000’ as part of the South Beyond 600 Challenge. The most remote and difficult are located in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ll be honest; these are hard peaks to grab. They require a lot of research and a lot of compass/orienteering skills. My … More Old Black, Tricorner Knob, Mark’s Knob, Mt. Guyot

Smokemont Loop Trail

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 … More Smokemont Loop Trail

Juney Whank Falls Trail, Deep Creek Horse Trail

January 30, 2016 Hiking all 900 miles of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is quite challenging and takes dedication. The best part of the challenge though, are the hikes that I take with my family. Slowing down to look and touch the orange-black fronded mushrooms blossoming from the felled trees. Marveling at the winterberry … More Juney Whank Falls Trail, Deep Creek Horse Trail

Indian Creek Trail, Martins Gap Trail, Indian Creek Motor Trail, Stone Pile Gap Trail

January 3, 2016 We went out of town for eleven days over Christmas, and I was very excited to get out in the woods again. Most of the time, society makes no sense to me. In the woods, everything makes sense. There’s peacefulness in the landscape and wilderness. I started early at Deep Creek Campground. … More Indian Creek Trail, Martins Gap Trail, Indian Creek Motor Trail, Stone Pile Gap Trail

Kephart Prong Trail, Sweat Heifer Creek Trail, Grassy Branch Trail

December 5, 2015 “It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.” – Horace Kephart Horace Kephart exemplifies why anyone of any walk of life can become an outdoorsman. A librarian by trade, he worked in St. Louis and Yale … More Kephart Prong Trail, Sweat Heifer Creek Trail, Grassy Branch Trail