The goal was to discover why The Great Smokey Mountains is the most visited National Park on the East Coast. I'm in love with the forests of the Smokey Mountains. This moss has been dormant all winter. Imagine how it will look in the summer!!
There were a lot of cool things to see, and we stuck to the kid-friendly hikes....can't wait until all the kids are old enough to do the really cool ones that are 8 miles round trip instead of 3 miles or less. We're breaking Sydney in this year....she hiked about 1/2 mile and then wanted to be carried, but we'll get there.
This is an old mill behind a 200 year old farm just a few miles outside of the town. There was still water running through it from the stream that is just behind it. The woodwork was amazing! Hand-made hinges and tongue in groove work on the log cabin.
The boys, climbing around in the hay loft.
It's a postcard! ;) The 2 room house was set down the hill from the barn, on a steep and rocky grade. I'm not sure how that worked back then, but it's still standing! There was alot of attic room too, most likely for making moonshine!
We took the lift up the hill overlooking the town of Gatlinburg the last night. This is the view from the top, just after sunset.
The kids became Jr Rangers. This pic is of them being sworn in. We started this tradition as we drove across the country during our move last winter. They have badges for Jewel Cave, Badlands and Mt Rushmore too. They are anxious to add to their collection. Ranger Hill was really cute with them!
This is the trailhead to Mingus Falls in Cherokee, NC. Such a short little hike after the stairs.
...and look how beautiful!
Sydney is in her element here, climbing around and looking for salamanders.
We took so many pics of this beautiful area....stay tuned for at least a couple more!