Category Archives: Smokies

Hiking Rainbow Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

A friend and I hiked to Rainbow Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the end of February this year – a 5.4 mile round trip hike.   It was my first time to see these beautiful falls.  The day was a perfect day for hiking the trail,  blue, cloudless skies and a temperature of high 50’s which felt pretty warm compared to the 20 – 30 F weather we’d just been experiencing.  All of the snow had melted, but there was still some ice on the trail making a couple of places a little tricky to navigate.  In the slide show I’ve attached you’ll see several ice formations seen along the river as well as the falls.  We took a small lunch with us, and sat on large rocks next to the Willis Baxter Cabin.  This cabin is on the way to the falls on the Maddron Bald Trail, and is a one room cabin with a fireplace and no windows.  In today’s age, you can’t help but have a tremendous amount of respect for those who lived during these times.  To me it is a wonder that there can be so many different ice shapes that naturally form on the LeConte Creek.  Rhododendron buds are getting bigger and preparing to bloom sometime in June. The path, itself, is really rocky and there are also a lot of tree/bush roots on the trail making it a little challenging as you go up approximately 1500 feet in elevation. The falls are 80 feet high and are the highest single-drop waterfall in the smokies!! During extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the falls.  You’ll see this in the slide show!


Our Musings of and in Nature

I spent the bulk of today learning how to make a very small slide show/movie and then uploading  it to this site.  I have so much to do getting this site up and going; yet, I wanted to share with you some photos I took January 4th.  I hadn’t been out for a while, and I really wanted to go up to the Smokies, so my friend and I went!  The slide show,  Winter in the Smokies, shows some of the sites we saw while driving up/down Little River Road  and Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains.   The Sinks and Meigs Falls can be seen  along Little River Road.  Newfound Gap Road is a route you can take to go see Cataract Falls which is actually accessed from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.   The pines smelled amazing, and the air was truly crisp and clean, albeit, a bit nippy.  It was a great day in that the sky was absolutely blue with not a cloud in sight.

One thing that we found amazing was how many icicles there were which was due to the heavy rains we had over the last few days.  Of course the rain helped make the waterfalls that much more beautiful.    Another cool site (no pun intended) were the places where ice was forming at the edges of rocks in the streams making very interesting patterns and shapes with some looking like frozen mini waterfalls.   Yes, winter brings an amazing beauty to our world, you just need to look for it.

Let me know what you would like to see or know about the Smokies.