Now that spring is upon us, I have had the opportunity to do get out and do a little hiking. Over the last two weeks, I have been to the far western and far eastern parts of the park. Last weekend, I hiked the seven mile Twenty Mile Loop. This is located about 20 minutes west of Fontana Dam. It was a wonderful trail with early spring trilliums everywhere and one of the most beautiful cascades I have seen. I didn’t take my camera, but I will return there later this spring to take some pictures when it has fully “greened up”. Yesterday, I went to the other extreme section of the park to Cataloochee Valley. I intended to walk another loop trial up Caldwell Fork Trail and around Boogerman Trail. Unfortunately, the foot bridge at the start of the trail was washed out and the stream was running too full and rapid to ford. So I spent the next few hours just exploring Cataloochee. I toured some of the turn of the century homes, walked a few miles up the Rough Fork Trail and Pretty Hollow Gap Trail, and saw a bunch of elk. It was a great afternoon.
I was not surprised! I have had the great opportunity to walk many of the trails primarily in the NC section of the park. All of them are wonderful. There is something about getting away from whatever consumes your time, and escape for a while in the beauty of the Smokies. Some of them have breathtaking views, many of them follow captivating creeks, all of them offer a solitude and peace that is hard to find. As I walk, I find that tensions decrease and stress melts away.
Many of our guests at Hemlock Inn come to experience the joy of hiking in this spectacular paradise. Hiking not your thing, there are scenic drives that are unequaled anywhere. The drive through the park on Hwy441 is just one; there is also the Blue Ridge Parkway that starts in Cherokee and the Cherohala Skyway that goes from the Fontana Dam area to Telico Plains, TN. There is also the popular excursion train ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Not adventurous enough? Try white water rafting, mountain biking, or zip lining. Like to fish? There is wonderful flyfishing available everywhere you look.
Too much to do, too little time………..
At Hemlock Inn, we offer one other activity…NOTHING. Rocking chairs are available to just sit and relax and take in our view; followed by our delicious home cooked meals. Sit around our lazy susan tables with your family, both old and new friends. Meet Ashley and her family. Take in the peace and comfort of old style southern hospitality.
There is nothing like the Great Smoky Mountains…and no place quite like Hemlock Inn. We open for the new season in just three weeks…April 23.
Hope to see you.