Sunday, April 13, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Twin Creeks and Noah "Bud" Ogle Nature Trails

Another trip to the Smokies for Sierra, Noelle and I. This time we cut through the monstrosity that is Gatlinburg and headed up the Cherokee Orchard Road to the Ogle Nature Trail. I paid 50 cents for a trail guide and we started on our way. It was quite warm this morning, so shortly after starting our hike we stopped to take Sierra's sweatshirt off and to apply some sunscreen. There was lots of yellow trillium in bloom
yellow trillium
on the nature trail and the fiddleheads were getting ready to unfurl their fronds.
Before we knew it we were at the intersection with the Twin Creeks Trail.

We made a right onto the Twin Creeks Trail and started a long, gentle descent. We saw a few traces of old walls and two badly crumbled chimneys. However, this trail was not the most interesting trail I've ever hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The best part of the hike was just being out with my family enjoying the wonderful weather. Even though the trail is called the "Twin Creeks" Trail, we did not spend a whole lot of time hiking with either of the two creeks within sight. Just a few glimpses here and there
cascading creek
and an unbridged crossing of one of them.
crossing creek
We hiked all the way down to the outskirts of Gatlinburg and then it was time to turn around and head back up to the nature trail.

Noelle took a photo of Sierra and I at the lower trailhead
Twin Creeks Trailhead
and shortly after turning around we found a nice rock to sit on and take a break.
snack break on rock
We ate some snacks and played a little bit. Then Sierra got some time to stretch her legs and walk a short distance.
hiking girls
Eventually we put her back into the backpack. It was a long, hot ascent back to the nature trail.

Once back on the nature trail
between walls
we visited the site of the "honeymoon" cabin, an old tub mill,
tub mill
and then the Ogle barn
Ogle Barn
and Ogle House.
Bud Ogle Place
We explored the inside of the home a bit
Noelle in doorway
and then sat on the shady porch of the house for another snack
snack on porch
before we made the short walk back to the car. We drove into Gatlinburg for a late lunch at the Smoky Mountain Brewery. After our meal we hit the road for our drive back to Greeneville.             

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