Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park

15 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix


Smoky Mountains in the fall.


                  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activities-  Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee.html

I haven’t traveled outside of Florida much, but I will say that The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Being a native Floridian, a flatlander, I was overwhelmed by the mountains and the colors, the rocky creeks and the music of the water flowing over the rock.



Strangely what I loved the most is looking out and seeing the mesmerizing design from the abstract lines created by the shapes of each mountain and valley. And how each layer is a distinct shade and color. The morning sun outlining it all.  Almost Heaven is the feeling that comes over me. The crisp air awakening my senses. I feel so close to God being in the spectacular beauty of His handiwork. This place the finest candy for my eyes. The images etched in my soul forever.



We stayed in Gatlinburg, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find lots to do if you have kids. It is similar to I-Drive in Orlando. It is also the gateway to 441 the main road through the mountains.




My favorite place here is Roaring Fork, a driving nature trail. This is a must. You drive through it, stopping all along the beautiful creek that runs along most of the way. There are many places to park and hike to falls. This is like all of the Smokies in one gorgeous road through Heaven.



Also along Roaring Fork are historic buildings.




You can explore them. It’s amazing to see how the people lived. At the end of the trail is a little store you can by goodies.

There are so many beautiful places, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. If you are going there, be sure to do your homework first, make a plan especially if you plan to visit some falls. There are some right on the road and there are some that are very difficult to get to.

Our first stop every morning is one of the few places you can enjoy a sunrise. Newfound Gap.



It’s an overlook with restrooms and an entrance to the Appalacian Trail.



Take a walk on this beautiful trail. It’s just beautiful and so are the people you may meet traveling on it.



Clingmans dome is a popular stop. This tower is at 6643 feet which is the highest point in the smoky mountains national park. The view is spectacular, but the climb up is very difficult. It is a nice paved walk, but half a mile and very steep.




If you go to Cherokee, be sure to stop at Ocoaluftee visitor center. There is a lot there to see.


You can walk the short trail to the river, see historic buildings and you may see some elk in the field by the highway. Also near by is an easy walk to Mingus Mill. It is a working grist mill where you can buy goodies such as freshly ground corn meal.



There are so many wonderful waterfalls. Many are not easy to get to. So check them out first according to which ones will fit you physically. They are all different and most are challenging to get to.





Wildfires in the beginning of this year destroyed a lot, but it is already healing and open to tourism.

Please join me next week. We are going to New Hampshires White Mountains.



8 Responses to “Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park”

  1. Kelly MacKay November 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Your photos are wonderful. Travel safe


  2. Traveling Shana October 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    Did you get to explore Wears Valley at all while you were there? It’s breathtaking ❤ Love your blog, and followed you to keep up with all the latest and greatest!


    • melodyhendrix October 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

      No… I didn’t discover Wears Valley. Next time I certainly will. Thank you for that info and thank you so much for your interest in my blog 😊


  3. Louise Gibson August 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm #



  4. itsrebekahlyn August 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    The Smokies provide so many incredible views, and you captured them perfectly.


  5. divoran09 August 15, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    Spectacular in every way. Thank you so much for your lovely, wonderful posts.

    Love, DiVoran

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Onisha Ellis August 15, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    Your sunrise shot is amazing! It is not easy to capture a clear sunrise and sunset in the GSMNP. The Roaring Fork drive suffered a lot of fire damage but amazingly I believe the structures were spared. I loved every picture, thank you for sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • melodyhendrix August 15, 2017 at 11:14 am #

      Have you been there since the fires? I think I will wait a year before coming back. It would make me cry to see the damage to Roaring Fork, my very favorite.


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