The Hike to Abrams Falls: Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Abrams Falls is a popular short hike located on the western side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. To get there, you must drive along the Cades Cove Loop, which can take a very long time, with estimates of about 2-4 hours of driving to complete the loop. The hike is described as moderate intensity and about five miles round trip, or 2.5 miles each way. The waterfall is about 20-feet tall, broad, and absolutely gorgeous in person. The pictures do not do the waterfall justice. The hike is popular not only because it is a shorter hike but also (or mostly) because the falls have created a natural swimming pool and wading area that’s shallow and refreshing after the up-and-down hike to get there.

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Bicycling Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades Cove is an 11-mile loop in Great Smoky Mountain National park that can be driven or bicycled. I heartily recommend bicycling the loop for those who are able to do so. The trek is more enjoyable, and you don’t have to worry about parking should you want to stop to explore any of the historic cabins, larger homes, mills, churches or barns (and you absolutely should want to stop!). Many of the historic buildings are adjacent to the loop. A few are within a short hike from the loop; the farthest was about a half mile, and the trek was absolutely worth it to me!

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Peachberry Granola for the Trail

Our backpacking trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in less than a month. We pawed through our supply of backpacker food, and we finally, finally, will have eaten the surplus meals we made for our PCT hike two years ago and the remaining long-range-patrol meals my military-minded father gave me as a wedding gift. A blank slate of food is exciting! Whatever will we eat for our five missing breakfasts? Anyone who knows me already knows the answer: “Oats!” Our hiker breakfasts usually consist of coffee (a little indulgence on the trail never hurt anyone whereas inflicting me on anyone without coffee has certainly led to pains) and some form of oats.

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