Streams of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It is said that no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will find almost 3,000 miles of streams and rivers to step into. If you have spent a decent amount of time in the park, then you are well aware of the fact that the best way to really enjoy all that the Smokies has to offer is to step away from the paved roads…
To take time within the hills and valleys to truly feel the mountains..
To truly connect with them…
To walk out of the Smoky Mountains a different man(or woman)…
Is to step onto the trails…
To stand on the summits…
To explore, to wander…
To step into the streams…
Swim in the rivers…
Take time to feel the water and connect with the flow of the mountains.
Do just that… And you will step out of the mountains after each visit a different person…
A better person… A more fulfilled spirit.
You will find happiness, energy, motivation, relaxation and a more complete version of yourself – with each step, each trail and each stream.
Go. Go explore. Get lost in the beauty and find all that you are meant to be.
Those that have truly roamed the hills and valleys of the Smokies, know that the most breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls lie hidden – off the trail. However, the park maintains plenty of trails that will give you a glimpse into the hidden water world of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the paved trail to Laurel Falls to a difficult 8 mile round trip trek to Ramsey Cascades. A day spent hiking the trails of the GSMNP to any of the multiple falls in the park is a perfect way to spend a summer day.
A few of the best waterfalls in the park that need to be on the list:
– Ramsey Cascades (Greenbrier)
– Grotto Falls (Roaring Fork Motor Trail area, Trillium Gap Trail)
– Indian Flats Falls (Tremont, Middle Prong Trail)
– Abrams Falls (Cades Cove)
– Mingo Falls (Cherokee) * at 120ft Mingo Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
– Mouse Creek Falls (Big Creek, Big Creek Trail)
From 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fisherman and anglers paradise. Never ending scenery, tranquility, miles of streams and wild trout just waiting to be caught… Make the park an ideal location for your next escape to the wild. The Smokies allows fishing year around in the park, however, there are requirements and regulations required to fish the pristine waters.
Once you’re familiar with the best ways to be a steward of the streams, plan your trip!
Escape the crowds in Abrams Creek, be surrounded by gorgeous greens in Tremont or find solitude in one of the prongs of the Little River.
The rains have returned to the streams of the Smokies and they’re waiting for you to become one with them…
Just getting started? Check out the Elbow to the Townsend Wye for a Class II run. Head into Tremont to do a couple runs, flyfish for a few and then head down to Campsite 18 and sleep next to the West Prong. Stay in the Elkmont Campground, take a hike up a few miles and ride the river back down to Elkmont. Are you experienced and looking for your next fix? Do a Class V run on the West Prong of the Pigeon River or when the Ramsey Cascades Trail reopens – hike up and come back down on Class V run surrounded by Old Growth Forest. Maybe you’re looking for a calm and chill day?
Take off to Fontana and flat water paddle the insanely beautiful Fontana Lake. Whatever water experience you’re craving, the Smokies has something for you… And for every visit after the next…
Float or Dip
Spring and summer are amazing times to be in the park. However, during the warmer months, the temps do rise at the lower elevations and the humidity can be unbearable at times. Perfect solution? Take a trip and a float or a dip… The best swimming holes don’t have names… They’re tucked away on or off of your favorite trail. Explore this summer and find a place to call your own, away from the crowds.
However, if you’re feeling a little extra social – here are a few spots that you might enjoy!
– The Townsend WYE: You can’t miss it or the sunbathers and dippers… They’ll be there, just inside the park and a mile or so from Townsend.
– Midnight Hole: Located on the Big Creek Trail, the Midnight Hole is beautiful and you’ll know immediately why this is one of the top swimming holes on the North Carolina side of the mountains.
– Deep Creek: 3 waterfalls, freshwater springs feeding the water, Bryson City just down the road… Tubing and relaxing. What could possibly go wrong with that mixture? Deep Creek is a picture of summer perfection
– Abrams Falls: Abrams is located in Cades Cove on a 5-mile round trip out and back hike. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists. Always respect the power of the water here – there have been multiple drownings. Know your abilities and that the water can be very tricky near the falls.
Take a trip and a float or a drip in any of the Smoky Mountain Streams – always with safety first and foremost on the priority list.
Regardless of the length of your visit to the Smoky Mountains or the purpose..
Take a moment to play in the stream, lie in the hammock beside the river, look for salamanders, fish, dip your feet in or take a swim..
After all, water is the source of all life – and connecting with it, will absolutely make you feel alive.