Today I spent touring the Cades Cove area of the park – which is where I’m camping. A “cove” here in the Smoky Mountains is essentially just a valley between two mountain ridges. This area was first settled around 1820 – of course the Cherokee hunted these lands long before, just didn’t live in the area. Interestingly, Great Smoky Mountains NP, is the only park (or one of very few at least) that was created out of almost entirely privately owned lands – most other parks were originally government owned land. There are a few historic buildings (farms and churches) along the route, but given the volume of traffic on this route and the very limited parking areas, I didn’t visit any of those.
Instead, I hiked out to the falls on Abram’s Creek. It’s about a 5 mile hike round trip that takes you through the woods along the creek and eventually down to the falls. I’ll post some pictures in the next few days.
That was all the excitement I could handle for the day – I got back to my camp and did a little reading. I’m currently reading “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson – which is a story of his travels on the Appalachian Trail. I’ve read a couple other books he’s written and, as usual, this one doesn’t disappoint.