Hiking: Make sure you bring water, snacks, camera and binoculars.Hopefully the fall leaves will be out!If you are up for a more intense hike, let us know and we can find you one!A few great, shorter trails include:
1) AbramsFalls: 5.0 miles round trip: Very pretty views of falls and this is a relatively easy hike.The downside is you have to drive through the traffic of Cades Cove, but if you are planning to drive it anyway, this is a nice stretch for the legs.Turn right onto unpaved road between sign posts 10 & 11 on Cades Cove loop.Side road terminates at parking area at trailhead.
2) Chimney Tops Trail:4.0 miles round trip; Some steep areas but great views at the end from pinnacles.Moderate difficulty.Drive 6.7 miles south from SugarlandsVisitorCenter on Newfound Gap Rd.Look for a large parking area on the west side of the road.
3) Ramsey Cascades Trail:8.0 miles round trip; Last half mile is steep and you think you might die…but the falls at the top are beautiful and lots of salamanders can be seen in the pools.Moderate to difficult. Drive 5.9 miles east from Gatlinburg on US 321 and enter the park on Greenbrier Rd to the right.The paved road ends and narrows just past the ranger station.At mile 3.2, turn left at the sign for Ramsey Cascades onto a bridge that crosses the Middle Prong.Drive 1.5 miles to the parking area at the end of the road.
Biking in Cades Cove: An 11 mile loop through a valley in the Smokies.You can often see wildlife (mostly deer & bear) and can get a decent workout.There are also some historical buildings.The loop is closed to cars Wednesday and Saturday mornings until .You can also drive around the loop, but it can get VERY congested and it is much more fun to bike!
Anneke Moresco spent the last year doing post doctoral work at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW). Anneke and colleagues participated in a conservation and reproduction project for the black-footed cat in South Africa. See the spotlight HERE. Photo credit Dr. Alex Sliwa (curator at the Cologne zoo)