In an effort to unplug and spend time with the family this past weekend we decided to escape to the mountains for the day. Where I live the mountains are our beach. The Great Smoky Mountains are this beautiful view that we see in our horizon, but rarely visit. It’s really a shame how little we visit the mountains considering how close we are.
Cades Cove is the park we decided to visit this past weekend. We picked the perfect time to visit. We always tend to avoid Cades Cove when we visit the mountains. While it is a very beautiful park with lots of great hikes it is a very popular tourist destination and tends to get crowded with loud cars, trucks and motorcycles polluting the loop you can drive around and idiots who leave their trash for the bears to eat and get entirely too close to the bears to get pictures and then wonder why they get attacked. Can you tell I get annoyed by tourists? The beautiful think about Cades Cove in the winter time is the lack of tourists. We saw maybe 6 people the entire day we were there. It was perfect!
We took a short little hike (probably 2.5 miles) up a pretty easy trail. The hike was perfect for our 3 year old and 8 year old. Adventures from our hike included hiking along and exploring a fast moving stream, checking out the few living plants that survive the winter weather, finding snails along the trail and finding icicles hanging from rocks and trees. Even though most of the wild life seemed to be in a deep sleep for the winter there was still plenty to see and explore.
Cades Cove was the perfect place to unplug this weekend. As soon as you drive into the Great Smoky Mountains all cell service is gone. No phone calls, texts, emails or Facebook. It was perfect! Even though it’s cold outside I still encourage you all to get out in nature, even if it’s just a little while. You never know what you’ll find.
What areas do you have close to you where you can get out in nature? Do you live near the mountains, beach or desert?